REVIEW: A Crafted Mysterious Exploration of Deja Vu

Enter into a world of mystery and wonder.  Déjà vu, performing as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival, is a theatre movement piece that weaves in and out of the worlds of death, life and dreams leaving the door to interpretation wide open for each individual audience member.

As the show opens, a streaming fog, expelled from a machine hiding downstage left, settles inside the room.  Music from an aria begins, aiding to a cresendoing effect from the fog.  And a black blob from upstage right begins to move.  These three elements together set the tone for a mystifying and dream-like performance by the incomparable Andi Snelling.

As a follow up to her successful 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival debut, Snelling’s latest show, Déjà vu is inspired by a harrowing bicycle incident from last year.  As described in the show’s program, an hour before her terrible fate, Snelling imagined herself experiencing a bicycle crash. Moved by this odd coincidence, Snelling decided to use the stage to explore the mysteries behind repeated events.

Gracefully, Snelling uses her dance and movement training to create a show without saying a single word.  While there doesn’t appear to be a clear narrative throughout the performance, it is the sequence of small vignettes that provide the audience the liberty to interpret Snelling’s exploration.  In fact, I found it most interesting to discuss with my partner what I took away from the performance and his interpretation was quite different.

The reality is, this open-ended interpretation is what I find most brilliant about Déjà vu – a piece that allows the audience to take away different perspectives.  As Snelling stated at the end of her performance, she believes that theatre is created to provoke discussion.  If this is telling of her goals for this performance, then she nailed it through and through.

Déjà vu is performing at Arts House through Friday, September 23rd at 6:45PM.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Melbourne Fringe Festival website.