Confined by a 3x3m box wrapped in transparent plastic, Alex Mizzen merges circus, dance, and theatre to create a stirring performance that explores the ‘invisible things’ we all carry in different ways. Developed from and inspired by 17 years’ of Alex’s personal journals, the work sees Alex wrestling with the voice in her head, her identity, and her darkness.
Alex displayed incredible athleticism and emotion, from the exquisite control of her hand balance work, to her interaction with the props and walls that surrounded her, to the gravity-defying final moments. Her purposeful interactions and complicated relationship with the small box, both a constriction and a familiar place, had the audience holding its breath, not knowing what to expect next.
Invisible Things combines a number of interesting elements beyond Alex’s impressive performance, from smoke inside the box that made her appear as a shadowy spectre, to costuming that interacted with the set and affirmed it as an extension of her and backing sound designed by Anna Whitaker varied from heartbeat to waves to piano.
A unique element of this performance was the way it broke down conventional barriers between audience and performer – the audience was encouraged to move around for the best view, and to move as close to the box as they felt comfortable. The box was also moved around the room at different times, Alex pushing her stage around from within. The interplay of light and shadow, and her deliberate control of these elements, complemented the variance of her movements from frantic to calm and back again. Invisible Things utilised the power of silence and stillness equally as much as sound and frenzied motion.
Alex Mizzen has created a truly impactful work that not only showcases her significant skills as a performer, but also leaves the audience to question the way that they interact with their own ‘invisible things’.
Warnings: Nudity and themes that some patrons may find confronting. The space has low lighting/visibility and this is a standing show. The audience are encouraged to move around the space for the best experience, but seats can be provided upon request for those requiring them.
Review of May 13 performance.