Thursday 10 July 2014
Little Bird had been running for a number of weeks at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne and last week treated some very lucky audience members to a perfomance at GPAC on Thursday 10th July. It is the story of a small-town country boy with some serious Mummy and Daddy Issues! Wren was born to a loving couple who lived in an isolated cottage in the forest. A curious young child, Wren was always asking strange questions like, “Can a boy bird sing a girl bird’s song?” Perhaps fed up with her routine life, Wren returned home from school one evening to find his mother gone from their cottage. Wren felt a huge void in his life, something that certainly his Father who had became completely detached was unable to fill. His mother had ‘died of happiness’ or so he had been told, Wren decided one day that his only option was to leave as well and such begins his adventure of self-discovery.
The perfomace surpassed any expectations that I had, as I was initially unsure of how the one-man-show could be pulled off! Eating my words now though, with Paul Capsis brilliant story-telling.
Capsis, legend of Australian stage gives the most amazing solo performance, capturing the character of not only Wren but also a number of other characters that he encounters along his journey. His voices are truly mystifying, and his singing is so engaging and filled with emotion, songs by Cameron Goodall (The Audreys) and Quentin Grant are simple yet completely heart-felt and the audience is taken with Wren every step of his identity-fulfilling adventure.
Play write, Nikki Bloom’s grim tale is staged marvellously with simple and effective stage design. The story conjures thoughts of historical fairytales, a cottage in the winter-time. This fairytale moves from the gloomy forest where Wren meets a rather hopeful woman, to the big city where he meets Rocky, a wood-cutting, dress-wearing city-slicker that introduces him to a whole new world that makes us question gender norms.
Capsis gives a relentless performance with his portrayal as the coy Wren, to the skittish Rocky, with his breaking into mesmerising song; one cannot help to be completely immersed in his world, feeling the anguish and rejection that he feels. Little Bird is the complex tale of how one’s life is impacted by grief and our human lack of comprehending grief and a performace I definately take my hat off to.
Written by Abbey King