Review :: Ockham’s Razor – Sydney Festival
January 23rd 2014
Don’t Wikipedia Ockham’s Razor before seeing the show. It will confuse the shit out of you. You will get some seriously convoluted philosophical chat that ends suddenly in fraudulent leprechauns breaking vases. Ehhh?
Ockham’s Razor, in layman’s terms, is the principle that the simplest answer is usually the best, no matter how many infinite possibilities there may be. It’s like using a razor to shave away the complicated ‘but what ifs’ and going with your gut. If there’s a broken vase on the ground next to a angry leprechaun, it’s probably the leprechaun’s fault. Don’t over think it.
It’s also the philosophy behind the British aerial theatre company of the same name, whose circus-style shows strip human interaction and emotion down to their most basic and simple form.
Their 3-part Sydney Festival show opens with Arc, where three strangers flirt, play, fight and experience jealousy, fear and forgiveness, all while suspended on a raft-like structure above the stage. The raft tips and flips and almost throws them off but when harmony is established between the three it becomes stable again.
It’s followed by Momento Mori (which literally translates to ‘remember that you will die’) a hauntingly beautiful representation of a woman dancing with death. You can see her dilemma though, when ‘death’ is an insanely strong man wearing a skin-tight morphsuit.
The show ends with Every Action, where the characters take turns climbing and swinging on ropes, exploring Newton’s Third Law of Motion, i.e. for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s comedic and light-hearted but they quickly learn that one can’t climb without the others’ support and every move they make affects the others.
Impressive shows of brute strength aside, Ockham’s Razor explores the vulnerability, trust and reliance that is at the core of human relationships and which are embodied in the art of aerial acrobatics: with no safety harnesses, the performers are literally held in each others arms.
If you have the chance to see the show while it’s in Sydney, do it. You’ll be signing yourself up for acrobat school by the end.