Spanning three generations in a haunted drug trip of a story, this show was more psychedelic than I had anticipated. We got to see the past and future interact with each other in unusual ways.
Auguries of Innocence held two main highlights in my mind- the original music by Meshe Mooette was familiar in words penned by Blake himself and haunting in melody, the other highlight was in the portrayal of the male protagonist. The actor expertly delivered a physically demanding performance with precision and apparent comfort while acting out various stages of sobriety.
Auguries of Innocence by Urthona Vancouver is playing at the Cultch Historic 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Annina Engelbrecht
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Anina: Hi Theatre Addicts. This is Anina, I'm here on [inaudible 00:00:04] street at The Cultch. We're going to be reviewing the Auguries Of Innocence for you this evening. The production companies' called Earthona, which is the God of Creativity according to William Blake's early writings.
Anina: Just for people who don't know anything about Blake. William Blake was an excellent writer, he's well known in the popular cannon. He wrote things like tyger tyger burning bright, which is one of the most famous poems in the world. I just love the way Blake's poems fall off your tongue. Like, tiger tiger burning bright in the forest of the night. And, of course, he's got some really weird rhymes like, what fearful eye can form your symmetry. Which symmetry and eye don't really rhyme but that's why you're supposed to say symmetry.
Anina: So I'm really hoping to enjoy this play very much this evening. Auguries of Innocence, it was also a poem by William Blake. And so I hope to see a lot of poetry infused in this play about Blake's life. I hope to see you after and I'll let you know how it goes.
Anina: By the way, let me introduce you to Celine.
Celine: I'm Celine.
Anina: Celine is also a Theatre Addicts and she is here with me today. We got see the show together so I though I'd include her in my video. It was a bit different then we anticipated.
Celine: Little different then the description but it was still really good and it still is intense and musical.
Anina: The music was awesome. The first thing I really appreciated, like I mentioned already, the music was amazing. I loved hearing Blake's poems pre-written into musical form. It's kind of like seeing an old friend in a new outfit or something like that, wouldn't you say?
Celine: Sure. I'm not as familiar with Blake, so.
Anina: Okay. Well, I studied Blake a little bit in university in some of my English lit classes and I've always loved, like I said in my preview, just Blake's poetry and how it kind falls off your tongue. I love the tyger tyger Burning bright idea.
Celine: They said that in the play.
Anina: They did, yeah.
Celine: I recognise that.
Anina: That's true. I kind of felt like the show was more psychedelic than I anticipated. There was a lot of drug use in it and to each his own. I didn't know about Blake's kind of history that way so it was interesting to see it woven together.
Anina: There was this prevailing idea of multiple histories kind of weaving into one. You kind of got to see the past and the future interact in very strange and usual ways. And we really quite enjoyed it. I felt, very specifically, that there were moments when you could have gotten lost but the end tied it together decently. And overall, it's an enjoyable show especially if you know things about Blake and you like Blake's poetry and Blake's writings.
Celine: I confess that I got lost, definitely. But I stilled enjoyed it and thought the acting was all very good. Yeah. Very good passion, very intense, and yeah, I still enjoyed it. I feel like I started to understand as it went along. But yeah, it was a little confusing.
Anina: We were just talking about one of the main characters, the gentleman who played Leap, his physical acting was incredible. The guy was writhing on the stage. And at times he was being pulled by forces and he was just doing all of that with his body. But I was pretty convinced that was-
Celine: I was very impressed with that.
Anina: ...being pulled from side to side.
Celine: Yeah, yeah. Without anyone actually pulling him. But you have to go see it.
Celine: [inaudible 00:03:58].
Celine: It was very impressive and the other part that I liked, what did you say? The parallel?
Celine: Images. Certain parts where one character would be singing or talking and then another person would join in and kind of, not echo it, but they would say it at the same time and I found that very [inaudible 00:04:18]. Talking in unison, not everyone on stage was talking in unison.
Anina: And it would kind of overlap history with history then. Well, the present with the past. So sometimes you kind of are transitioned beautifully by people saying the same thing at the same time from the present or from the past into the future. And really, at some points, I was even questioning whether there was a present and a future.
Celine: Yeah, yeah. Definitely interweaves through time and space which is exciting.
Anina: It is. I really like all the ghosts. I felt like the ghostliness was very interesting to me because at the same time, again, just like the reality and, well, illusion, like the psychedelic versus reality thing, you kind of don't know if people are dead or alive a lot of the time. You kind of wonder if you are experiencing the father's reality or the sons' reality or sometimes Blake's reality. Who even knows? Who knows. Ghosts of the past coming to haunt us.
Celine: It's interesting though because, yeah, it was like kind of ghosts and stuff but I didn't find it spooky or creepy.
Anina: No, it wasn't spooky and creepy.
Celine: I didn't even think of what they were doing as ghosts but they were, I guess.
Anina: It went from time period to time period very smoothly, I'd say.
Celine: Yeah, yeah, very [inaudible 00:05:43].
Anina: So my name's Anina.
Celine: I'm Celine.
Anina: And we're reviewing for Theatre Addicts. We are at The Cultch, and we just watched Auguries Of Innocence. If you enjoyed our video or you have any comments of your own to add, if you disagree with anything we've said, please comment in the comments below, even if you agree you can do that. And we hope to hear more from you. And subscribe to our channel, Theatre Attics on YouTube. Bye.
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