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The 2017 Adelaide Queer Arts & Cultural Festival has an eclectic program of vibrant and topical shows. On Saturday 17 November I went along to check out the production #nofilter by Adelaide’s own Velvet Chase Productions.

Image: Modernflesh Photography (Sourced from Feast)

#nofilter creates a theatre world of its own. Vaudeville actors parade around the foyer space interacting with their audience in a backstage insight into the stories of the performers at The Black Dog Circus. The actors circle us, cage us, startle us, then seamlessly transition into the first of many short stories told through dance, song, and dialogue. These stories come directly from the experiences of the actors, which deepens our connection with them. Stories that delve into the human experience of mental illness, bulimia, self-harm, and addiction. The style is prominent; a kind of anti-world rich with symbolism, and raw emotion. At times quite confronting, but always engaging, always something interesting to look at, and never overcrowded. Although the theatre space contains several obstructions (like pillars) that blocks us at times from the main action this does enable an interrupted perspective. Not being able to fully see the interpretive movements but only hearing the screams and noise is provoking and haunting. The rhythmical movement of the dancing is absorbing and the talents of the cast to sing and perform songs live adds to the sentiment of it all.

Image: Modernflesh Photography (Sourced from Feast)

Expect to shift around the space. Expect to be confronted and expect to have feelings of unease. You’ll be absorbed by the costumes and the characters, and you will sit in awe of the skilful, slender, and muscular dancers. But be prepared, this show is loud. It is so loud you will need earplugs, in fact it is a pity as this detracts from the whole experience. #nofilter is next playing on Friday 24 November at 7:30pm at Venue 63 (63 Light Square, Adelaide). The Adelaide Queer Arts and Cultural Festival will run from 11 November – 26 November 2017. See the Feast 2017 guide for more details.


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