- Deborah Chu
- 21 November 2018
Compelling performances fail to break through the static
Noise touts itself as a 'sonic explosion' that reveals the inner struggles of youth today as they navigate a world that is rapidly getting louder and faster. What results instead is a confusing talent show of dance, comedy, spoken word and music, punctuated by asides about 'taking over the airwaves' from vague, formless figures of authority.
Part of the blame can be cast on the choice of venue, as the small, enclosed space of Traverse 2 doesn't easily lend itself to the loud energy necessary to carry such a show. Every performer gets their brief moment in the limelight, and the individual performances themselves are solid, with a funny take on Loïe Fuller's Serpentine Dance among the highlights. The set design is sophisticated, and the ensemble performances are sleek and well-choreographed. But unfortunately, with no discernible thematic or narrative thread to bind these parts together, their talent becomes lost amongst the confusion of what it's all meant to be about.
The social struggles that Noise points towards are real and profound; but the show offers no new insight into these issues, nor does it take the time to excavate the inner lives of young people from the 'everyday noise'. Instead, as the final soliloquy counsels, when things get overwhelming, just turn up the music and tune out. While Noise's adolescent defiance is certainly earnest, putting your headphones on and disassociating from what's around you doesn't make for the most powerful call-to-arms.