The production was 9 hours, punctuated by 5 intervals.
Despite this herculean duration, time seemed to float by. The production had a filmic like quality and a rich visual language. It was incredibly moving, inspired and at times very funny.
Lip Synch got me thinking about two things.
First, Le Page’s company Ex Machina receives a significant amount of government funding which means he can spend up to two years developing a work like this. This incubation period is a rare luxury in the world of theatre and one unimaginable in Australia’s climate.
It also flys in the face of the notion of beta testing which characterises a lot of creative development in the world of digital. New dramatic texts may have their own beta phase through creative workshops, dramaturg involvement and readings, but rarely do they incorporate the views, feedback and experiences of the audience.
Second, theatre is one arena where brand involvement still amounts to traditional sponsorship and rarely leaps the integration fence. Is it taboo or something that has gone largely unexplored?
One exception is Pot Noodle, a musical comedy that premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Created by the smart folks at UK ad outfit Mother especially for their client Unilever, it was set in a Pot Noodle factory, and based on creative concepts that had underpinned years of advertising.
So the big question is, do audiences expect the theatre environment to remain ‘clean’?