Theatre review: Cannonball, The Basement

By Paul Simei-Barton

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Emily Taylor gives a masterful display of the art of the one-person show. Photo / Supplied
Emily Taylor gives a masterful display of the art of the one-person show. Photo / Supplied

A one-person show imported from the Melbourne Fringe Festival offers a deliciously weird piece of surrealistic satire served up under the watchful gaze of a black raven which appears to have flown directly out of a ballad by Edgar Allan Poe.

In an interconnected series of impressions the show's creator Emily Taylor introduces a bizarre menagerie of wildly exaggerated characters, each of whom is endowed with a distinctive voice and accent.

The action takes place within the heads of the inhabitants of a glass tower that serves as headquarters for an enigmatic new-age corporation. The quirky characters reveal an intriguing and often amusing assortment of obsessions that reflect the neurosis and paranoia of everyday life. Their stories come to us through a hallucinatory distorting mirror and the comedy takes a turn towards the macabre when a seemingly innocent bedtime story throws up the disturbing image of a cabbage patch doll stealing a young girl's dreams.

Emily Taylor gives a masterful display of the art of the one-person show with lightning-quick changes in voice and tone. Her performance is delivered with such verve and enthusiasm that the audience find themselves enticed into an imaginative journey, even though the destination is often deeply disturbing.

Review

What: Cannonball
Where: The Basement, to March 9

- NZ Herald

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