The World Holds Everyone Apart, Apart From Us
Stuart Bowden @ The Tuxedo Cat – Blue Room
8:45pm, Mon 28 Feb 2011
The previous show in the Blue Room runs long. Waiting in the queue, we ponder another drink. I “volunteer” to go to the bar, then to the other bar. Things take time. The show has started by the time I get back, and my seat is awkwardly in the front row. I spill wine. I am lip-bitingly annoyed.
But I am soon swept away.
Set in the future, manchild Avian senses the loneliness in the planet, so he builds a spaceship – The Story – in order to search for a friend for the Earth. Consigning himself to solitude – after all, why should he have a companion when the Earth lacks one? – Avian proceeds to tell the stories surrounding his three “benders”… the three times he allowed himself the luxury of companionship.
Steeped in whimsy, The World Holds Everyone Apart, Apart From Us centres on the milk-crate construction that is The Story, around which Avian climbs and crawls in naïve wonder. There’s an ambient musical backing, with keyboards and loops thickening the atmosphere, but the tale is told in the most heartwarming manner, with gorgeously lyrical constructions that inspire glorious images of forests and waterfalls and deserts in the mind.
Stuart Bowden – one of The Lounge Room Confabulators – is a born storyteller. However, there is something distinctly childlike about the delivery of the story; Bowden’s constantly smiling face and soft, inoffensive tones reminded me of a presenter for a children’s programme. Unfortunately, with the childlike delivery comes childlike material – too much fun is made of Avian’s penis hanging out, or urine drinking. And that cheapens the entire work for me, turning what could have been a beautiful story into one that’s ever-so-slightly tawdry. And that’s a massive shame… because the atmosphere that Bowden is able to conjure verges on magical.