Curtains of a Candle 2018
A performance art show, which philosophically dramatises our relationship with Death. It aims to balance the beauty with the darkness by personifying the three probing players - Death as Jayne, Humanity as Dylan, and Life as trees, time clocks and bananas. It combines dress, poetry, light, sound and dance to form a powerful and emotive experience.
BATS Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand
Production, Poetry & Fashion Design - Max Duncan
Dance - Tessa Brown
Music - Andrew Denison
Animation & Illustration - Luiggi Riccio
Make-Up - Ruth Whelan
Photography - Stephen A'Court
"Curtains of a Candle
A fantastic piece of creative work of Russian type depth, which philosophically dramatizes the one compelling aspect of our entire existence - our relationship with Death.
This was presented in a profound way that balanced 'the beauty' with 'the darkness', by personifying the probing player, Death (Tessa Brown), as an embracing and at times caring dancer ever watchful over her ailing mortal. Death, with her white winged robe, as that of an angel, seemed not so dark and even beautiful.
Then we have Life symbolised by trees, time clocks and that dimly lit spark of humanity - the slightly ghoulish centre figure played by Max. The spark of life itself seemed diminished by the moving shadow lurking beyond the trees and clocks. How true this is with all of us.
In this production Death stalks in a benign way as this spark of humanity cowers, perhaps unnecessarily, from the ineluctable reality, which hinders the time we do have. We have all danced with Death in various ways but return within ourselves to cling helplessly to the ticking clock, hiding behind the bushes (life itself).
What a positive lesson in life - to be a little more joyous despite pain and suffering, and a little less fearful about something we don't really know, and which may even bring us beauty and peace. This is why this performance, for me, is so amazingly counter balanced and profound.
There was not one performing-arts discipline in this presentation that fell below a high professional standard. I loved the music. The vocal singing was of rock-opera standard. Max is a creative tour-de-force with the high probability of future success. More importantly Max has shown a creative clout that can produce much more heart snatching performances in the future - ones that will shock and inspire all of us in an insightful way. Style and fashion's a piece of cake, too... Thank you Max for the greatness and talent in you, and for who and what you are."
— Michael Munro, Author