“The campy playfulness of the comedy descends into something darker, aided by imaginative audio-visual work from Matt Gingold. As rehearsals for the show within a show begin, the piece is catapulted into a live cinema experience that projects the anxieties of ageing onto a broader historical field. It’s as much a show about obsolete media – the internet replacing film replacing theatre, and the growing distances between human contact and meaning that involves – as it is about the young supplanting the old.”
Cameron Woodhead – Sydney Morning Herald
16. November 2014
“…Calpurnia unfolds through the mediated lens of cameras…a mix of live performances captured by several cameras and relayed live, pre-recorded elements, green-screen, and borderline psychedelic and hyperactive animation. The work of Matthew Gringold (AV) and Matthew Greenwood (animation), this part of the show starts in black-and-white, before progressing into ‘Technicolour’ and continuing into the frenetic and visually-saturated world of mass-media, video games and contemporary advertising. It is an audacious and bold choice, but it is clever and unpredictable enough to maintain our interest for the near hour of its deployment. There are many ingenious uses of simple technology to create strong visual effect – from the spinning newspapers, to the mirror scenes, stand-ins, and cinematic over-shoulder shots…it is a masterstroke of theatrical malleability and imagination.”
Glenn Saunders – The Pillow of Waking Hours
18. October 2014
CALPURNIA DESCENDING (2014)
is an epic live theatre and cinematic, cross-genre, cross-dressed romp through the camp icons of the silver screen. With the ultimate brief for an audiovisual design on stage – make a live movie – Calpurnia Descending was an incredible collaboration with Sisters Grimm.
Charting the rise and fall (and rise and fall again!) of Beverely Dumont (Paul Capsis) and Violet St Claire (Ash Flanders) literally through the lens of cinematic history, this project involved devising a 4 camera online switching, and offline playback system, with multiple green screens and real time effects.
The simplicity of the resulting screen image – and the hilarity of the content – belie the complexity of the production. With over 450 cues and some 250 spike marks, the cast and crew execute a complex choreography of camera and set movements, whilst delivering an acerbic and sharply witty script.
Calpurnia Descending was a co-production with Sydney Theatre Company and the Malthouse Theatreand won a Green Room Award for Best Video Design in 2015.