It’s rare that five minutes into a show you’re begging for an escape route from the auditorium and even rarer when the show does nothing to persuade you from fleeing to the exit for the entirety of its running time. Unfortunately, Liquid Sky is such a show.
Influenced by Doris Lessing’s feminist science fiction novel The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five, which “traces the adventure of a queen forced into wedlock to save her territory from ecological demise, navigating beyond gender conflict by way of metamorphosis.” Liquid Sky aims to present an “alchemy of circus and new music” and “re-imagine the fabled Indian Rope Trick…the aerialist performs the miracle of holding herself airborne for 20 minutes whilst completely blindfolded”.
The artistic choices of the production render the whole experience an endurance test both aurally and visually. To an ear-harassing soundtrack by SUE ZUKI (Alicia Matthews), the introduction takes tedium to a whole new level, an excruciatingly laboured, repetitive sequence of ill-executed movements, drag on seemingly interminably. When the aerialist (Aedín Walsh, clad in a drab, ill-fitting unitard) finally ascends the rope the performance fails to elevate itself, every move looks full of effort, rather than the effortlessness one expects from proponents of this discipline.
The only saving grace of the whole event is the lighting design by Jack Wrigley which gives the eyes something to enjoy, that and its mercifully short running time.
This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub