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Absence and Presence review at Aurora Nova St Stephens

If you are after quality rather than pzazz then this imaginative yet mature, accomplished, understated, heartfelt and entertaining piece of visual theatre has got to be at the top of your list. 21 years after co-founding the Mime Theatre Project, Andrew Dawson is coming of age in a number of ways, though not all of them a reason for celebration. This is also the 20th anniversary of his father’s death and he decides to confront his demons, including the fact that his father’s body lay undiscovered for ten days.

In a rather sparse and slow exposition, Dawson reads us extracts from personal letters while also introducing a range of non-verbal narratives concerning a moth, a wire man on a chair and samples of video footage of an old man’s belongings. Grief carries its own laws and this documentary display will be forgiven the moment Dawson embarks on telling us his story the way he knows best – in mime and movement, shining a light on his sorrow, embodying an elderly postman as he dances to the radio, fishing for poignant metaphors, playing with shadows on the wall, and weaving it all together into a heart-wrenchingly beautiful etude on parental love and loss.

Production Information

Aurora Nova @ St Stephen’s, August 5-22

Performer
Andrew Dawson, in collaboration with Jos Houben, Graham Johnston and Fabric Potsdam
Composer
Joby Talbot
Running time
1hr

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