There is a sense of emptiness that comes over us at evening, with the odour of the elephants after the rain and the sandalwood ashes growing cold in the braziers, a dizziness that makes your eyelids droop & your feet sink into silken slippers, as sleep descends. In such an hour, you fall into a dream...
In Still Night, the main character is the city around us. The show begins in a conference room, with an absurd lecture given in an unplaceable language, before the lights go out and the audience falls into a shadowy intimate world created with an immersive headphones sound design.
We draw our inspiration from Italo Calvino's 'Invisible cities', in which Marco Polo describes the cities of Kubla Khan's empire, less as lists of statistics and more as dreams, impressions and elegies.
Even in this sterile 12th-floor conference room, Mercuriali and Brockis make striking design choices: a glowing city unfolds from a dress; a horse plays at dice; a will-o’-the-wisp draws us to her lantern. We smell the jasmine in the gardens of Kublai Khan. We feel the first cool after spring rains. And, as our city is revealed to us in a new light in a very literal sense, we finally see why this venue might be the perfect one after all.
Offsheet press Brisbane.
Created, directed and performed by Gemma Brockis and Silvia Mercuriali. Mask by George Tomlinson. Sound design created with Lewis Gibson.