Photo by David Young

On a sunny afternoon, standing outside a shop front in Northcote, I had no idea what I was about to see. Greeted by Chamber Made Opera’s new creative director Tim Stitz (who is also the kind provider of snacks and drinks post-show), the audience is led upstairs to a small living room set up as the inside of a plane. A ‘flight attendant’ provides us with warm towels and we settle in while staring at a white wall.

Performers Deborah Kayser (The Mother) and Anneli Bjorasen (The Daughter) place themselves in amongst the audience. Lights dim, fans start whirring, babies start crying (you can’t have a plane trip without one!)  and a fascinating soundscape emerges that helps to explain the stormy relationship between mother and daughter. As the mother, Kayser is superb. Her delicate, sensitive performance is highlighted by her aria performed as her daughter walks out on her. Performing her spoken role through a vintage microphone, Bjorasen’s angry intensity and fiery performance is the opposite of Kayser’s. Both have a beautiful vulnerability to their performances and the climax of the show, as the plane hits turbulence, is particularly heartbreaking.

My only disappointment was that I couldn’t see it at night – the sun streaming through the window slightly lessened the intensity of the performance. Composed by Juliana Hodkinson and with sound design by Jethro Woodward, Turbulence is a feast for the ears and a must-see show.


Originally published by Beat.

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