Alex Mizzen is a very small creature. The show opens, and she is strange, fey, almost child-like, hidden in the shrouds of smoke, in a giant box glowing with an unearthly blue light. Invisible Things is Alex’s one-woman opus, and a triumphant return to performance following injury.
She takes as long as she likes. So refreshing really, in a world of performances where the timing is finger-snapping fast. So nice to see a moment last as long as it needs.
This ethos follows the whole work really. There are zero fucks given to making the show a tight tiny little tour package. This show requires a warehouse, and a 12 metre ceiling, and is caged in site-specific giant metal frame bound with clear wrap. The space moves, you cannot sit and relax back, you are forced to engage with the work.
Alex is a friend of mine, and a much admired performer, and much of the reason why is evident in this show. She moves with complete dedication to work, from precise and tiny articulations to the final frenzied destruction of the set. Her body is finely tuned to her vision, honed by years of training in multiple disciplines of dance, hand-balancing, circus arts and physical theatre disciplines. The show pulls out a lot of darkness, a lot of deep hidden internal thoughts, and I realise about a third of the way through that this is very real for Alex, she is not acting this experience, she is having it. It could be elements of opening night nerves, but it is also that this is a physical articulation of real emotions, a simple enough premise to write about, and an intensely raw experience to observe and be close to. There is nothing fake or put on about this performance.
No one moves, no one speaks, not one person breaks the held-breath moment. The superb soundtrack by Anna Whittaker is poignant and perfectly suited to the show. The room is perfectly consumed by the performance. A thousand thoughts rise, triggered gently by the movements, the insinuations, the demonstration of the internal. A strong work that gives pause to the watcher, that inspires self-reflection.
Nadia Jade saw Invisible Things at Brisbane Powerhouse on Thursday 29 November 2018.
Creator/Performer | Alex Mizzen
Collaborating Artist/Technical Design | Michael Maggs
Sound Design | Anna Whitaker
Dramaturgy | Kristian Santic