Mudfest: Dogshrine

Esoteric and at times abstruse, though it begins to unfold to you.

Ambitious.

Visually arresting. The spectacle alone made it worth seeing.

Sound design a definitive strength, complemented by the eerie beauty of the lighting. Usa’s costume is wonderfully designed.

Said a lot of interesting things about religion, conformity, guilt, entitlement. Jai Leeworthy’s writing offers no easy answers or resolutions. This is strangely satisfying.

Overlong. Scene transitions were under-rehearsed.

Performances were excellent. Genevieve Cassin takes what is predominantly a voice role and imbues the shrines with such flavour and complexity that she projects herself onto the stage. Niamh Vlahakis’ Usa is an interesting man – she displays total commitment. Watching the two of them interact was one of the highlights of the show.

Unusual arrangement of seating was more to the show’s detriment than its benefit – poor sightlines – though it was nice to feel that this was a show out of the ordinary.

I thought it never quite cohered fully. Needed to be tightened, though the languid pace is mostly likable/fitting. I’d like to see it remounted some day.

A style not typically my sort of thing. But I liked it. Funny. Sweet. Painful. I felt things. I thought it was beautiful and kind of fascinating. Leeworthy has created another world, and I’m glad I was able to visit it for a little while.

Kate Weston

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