Habitat (Cats & Cheesecake)
“Part Groundhog Day, part Sliding Doors” is how “Habitat” is described. I didn’t exactly get this during viewing, but that doesn’t make it a bad show; it just means that it could have been a better one.
As the debut work from the quirkily named Cats & Cheesecake, “Habitat” has much to offer. More snippet than full show, it showcases a curious combination of genres and skills – circus, comedy, clowning and contemporary dance. The show begins with sole performer silently strutting the stage, sultry and cat-like (though arriving in a flurry of confetti). It is a mood revisited during her graceful, almost ethereal, lyrical aerial work, supported by some sublime lighting hues in creation of enticing shadows and silhouettes against the basic stage setting. However, this is also a show of physical comedy of the slapstick sort and although the juxtaposition of the variety of moods is fine, the swift transitions back and forth make for unnecessary lapses in fluency, especially during moments of complete silences (sans the sounds of chatter from patrons waiting outside for the next show).
The three performers from New Farm’s Vulcana Women’s Circus display strength and skill. And although their talents are impressive, the real highlights are the show’s comic moments, such as when the trio scuffles like sassy sisters on a couch and tumble around, all without words. And you can’t help but marvel at their timing and teamwork. Playful as this is, it is made all the more interesting by the ordinariness of the domestic props that are utilised. Brooms, rubber gloves, saucepans and socks are incorporated at every opportunity; I only wish I knew why.
If you need story to satisfy your theatre experience, then this is perhaps not your thing, however, if you are after an irreverent show of humour, hijinks and superb rope and aerial skills, then “Habitat” is where it’s at. Hidden away in the nooks and crannies of commercial East Brisbane, the SYC Theatres presents the perfect location for this enigmatic exploration. Whether sitting stage-side or looking down on the action from the upper bar level, audiences are sure to be swept up (pun intended) in the show’s cheeky confidence and feeling of fun.
You can find all of my Anywhere Theatre Festival reviews on the Festival website.