Devon More is always a joy to see perform. In Flute Loops, as ever, musical talent, verbal skill, and physical grace are interwoven into seamless fabric.
The simplest, clearest demonstration of this comes from the pedalboard, which is used to create the titular “loops”. More integrates the working of the pedals with her physical performance, controlling the sophisticated arrangement of samples through motions that seem effortless, accidental—to the point that we can almost believe the opening conceit of the show, that this entire performance is spilling out of her spontaneously as she waits for her boyfriend’s band to come on stage.
Prospective theatre goers might be wondering about the educational content. This is about as deep a dive into quantum physics as a one-person symphonic orchestral poetic performance incorporating flutes and physical comedy can reasonably be expected to be. Devon’s descriptions of physical concepts are accurate up to a point, but they are mostly being used as the vessels of a more central creative idea, one that explores the role of science in the modern world and the objective of the human search for knowledge. (I discuss this more in the video review, which contains spoilers.)
I did feel a little uncomfortable around the performer’s handling of Stephen Hawking. Perhaps the honorific of “Saint Hawking” and the imitation of his distinctive robotically synthesized speech patterns were meant to be affectionate, but to me both came off as sarcastic and perhaps a little in poor taste. I’m sure opinions will vary.
Overall, I would recommend this as a fun, witty treatment of physics that informs and moves, even if it doesn’t (and probably can’t) explain things at a deep level. Also, if you’ve yet to see Devon More onstage, don’t miss this because Flute Loops is Devon More in top form.
Flute Loops by Devon More Music is playing at the Cultch Historic Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Mattias Martens
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