Posted by Ross Battaglia
22. Jun, 2015
‘Hello, is someone there?’ – a loaded question; one which each of the characters in Retro Futurismus hopes will be answered . When they are met with no response, the feeling of isolation and loneliness is amplified, but for Retro Futurismus, you are in safe hands, because the truth-seeking journey is one thrilling spectacle after another.
Playing till June 28 at fortyfivedownstairs, Retro Futurismus is the product of the uber-talented veterans, Maude and Anni Davey, siblings with a wealth of success in the entertainment industry and known for their various roles on television and films, as well as their applauded background in burlesque.
The term ‘retrofuturism’ brings together opposing ideologies: the future as seen from the past and the past as seen from the future. Donning Elvis-inspired costumes and backed by sweet Kanye tunes – an alternate universe, perhaps – the Davey sisters introduce the show and, through many pop culture references, explore the future we have inherited.
What followed was a series of cabaret, burlesque and circus acts that each grew more impressive as the night wore on. Some acts may stray too far in to the peculiar, but many remain with you long after the final curtain is drawn. In particular, Laura Shelton’s performance as the long-suffering heroine was packed with intensity – her lip-syncing of famous death scenes was a highlight of the show.
Notable mentions go to Stella Angelico, whose voice sent shudders through the audience, while Teresa Blake’s acts were a showstopper, especially in a scene where Blake manoeuvred in a brick bikini while trying to sun bathe.
Behind the comedy, it is hard to shy away from the underlying message: that the future we live in is one riddled with unhappiness and a feeling of isolation. The female cast effectively express the anguish and dissatisfaction felt by the current state of society. ‘We dreamt of space cars’ yet all we have is constant surveillance and a crippling obsession with all things technological.
‘Is this the future we wanted?’
Check out Retro Futurismus because you will be wowed, you will laugh and you will ponder – about our past, the future, and what we have yet to achieve.
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Wednesday June 10 – Sunday June 28
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