Come Away with Me to the End of the World is a true-to-life backward glance of intimate confessions and self-imposed validations.
The abstract performance piece is an original collaboration between Writer Raimondo Cortese and Ranters Theatre performers and co-writers, Beth Buchanan, Patrick Moffat and Heather Bolton. They impart ‘pocket-memories’ of their lives and naturalistic conversation.
The travellers ponder their human existence convalescing on the grass in the Australian bush and trek high above into the mountains Alps of the Pyrenees. The significance of each individual’s journey is featured in emotional monologues’, uplifting songs and dance.
This retrospective work revives the past time of listening and deliberation. Beth and Patrick give the audience a confronting, prolonged and reflective stare. They indulge in the ambiance and tranquility at the ‘end of the world’.
The silence dissipates to a voyeuristic view of friends lolling about at a picnic, eating sandwiches and grapes. They take contemplative pauses in their conversation to admire the blissful atmosphere. Heather Bolton joins them in making statements and small talk of the recent happenings in their lives. David Franzke authentic wildlife compositions mimic the natural surrounds of the bush.
Beth the youngest of the trio expresses discontent in her life as she discusses the English phrase and displays a ‘wringing of your hands in despair’. She elaborates with her arms extended, an imaginary heavy weight of her world and her struggle to keep holding it up.
Whereas Heather, comfortable in her skin, relaxes with her legs outstretched and gives an honest and heart-felt confession of her likes, dislikes, loves and hates.
Patrick reminisces about his former occupation in ‘Silver Service’ and a selfless antidote providing breakfast for his partner.
Their respite continues and Beth narrates and demonstrates a ‘limping’ dance step from her Italian ‘Tarantella’ Dance class. Female Dancers’ burst onto stage and liven their afternoon and perform the ‘Tarantella’.
Ranters ‘Thrust’ like stage, adds a three-dimensional aspect to the performance at The Malthouse, Beckett Theatre. The simplistic backdrop and informative narrative projection, pre-empted an eccentric appearance of the ghost of singer Demis Roussos.
Designer Callum Morton’s version of the mountains in the Pyrenees creates a sense of movement from one place to another. The performers continue their conversation and appear to effortlessly lift mountain peaks and rocks to form their camp in the Pyrenees. Technology mocks nature when Patrick switches on an obvious electric ‘fan-forced’ campfire and Beth intermittently clicks remote controlled ‘mountain- mist’. They warm their hands by the fake fire, questioning and affirming their life choices and attitudes.
Director Adriano Cortese intertwines the serenity of the end of the world with acapella song, dance and a surprise ‘science experiment’ eruption of a mini volcano.
The end of the world could have concluded sooner, as the ‘seat shifters’ may have found the ninety-minute performance warranted an intermission.
The performers consistently delivered. Beth’s whimsical comments elevated the somber tones of mortality. The trio of travellers is a realistic representation of three generations. Ranters Theatre reminds us honesty and friendship is invaluable at the end of the world.