Ponderings on life, getting the most out of it, and the inspirational people you meet along the way.
The Ponder Room is a place where weary brains can rest, ruminate, re-energise. Like any trip to the powder room, some visits may miss the target or prove unnecessary, but you never know the next one might prove insightful, or at the very least leave you giggling and feeling a little bit lighter about life.
Brilliance of James Thierree in Raoul (Perth Festival 2012)
It’s clear to see why James Thierree and La Campagnie du Hanneton have won so many awards including four Moliere Awards, France’s highest achievement in theatre. In Raoul, his latest show on at the Regal Theatre, his movements are spellbinding; his lineage to Charlie Chaplin clearly on show, so much so it was easy to think that was who you were watching. For me, though it was what I witnessed after the show that catapulted him into legend status …
Arriving at the theatre and being invited to move down to the front instantly makes you ponder … why? Thankfully this wasn’t needed, there was a simple explanation and along with my fellow relocatees we were left to enjoy the night. The show is difficult to talk about for two reasons, one you don’t want to give anything away (as unfortunately some reviewers have), and two it’s one of those shows where you suspend all reasoning and just let it flow over you.
Returning home Raoul finds his house seemingly possessed and embarks on a battle with everyday appliances, marine creatures and himself. A combination of mime, dance, puppetry, magic, and lighting, the show is 90 minutes of disbelief, giggles and melancholy. Anyone who’s had trouble getting comfortable in a chair while reading a book will thoroughly enjoy that moment in the show. Likewise the use of kitchen implements during a fight, particularly a lethal ice cream scoop. And there's an interesting take on hanging a picture. The show certainly gives you a lot to ponder about …one of several underlying messages was the need to get out amongst life, a notion that’s dear to The Ponder Rooms heart.
However his true brilliance was revealed after the show.
Standing solo outside the theatre after his patrons had returned to their own homes, James decided against setting off alone into Subiaco, even though he’d been given directions (lots of hand waving from a fellow cast member, no doubt the preferred method for those versed in mime). Instead he waited for the rest of his party to arrive. A good decision as the heat of the 37 degree day was still present in the night air, meaning any excess movement was to be avoided.
It was somewhat surreal to see him wandering around looking in shop windows, his legs moving in a normal trajectory unlike the various contortions we’d seen during the show. But this wasn’t the most amazing thing …
Wearing tan knee length shorts, t-shirt, a long light green scarf wrapped around his neck and … a navy jacket! … a jacket! … in Perth! …in February! … after a 37 degree day! Forget the amazing agility and lightness of touch on display during Raoul, clearly the man is just not human.