Theatre Review: The Bluebird Mechanicals is marvellously nervewracking (Performances in Brisbane to 16th September)

Be they flocking or fleeing, birds are always a sign of impending danger. Hell, if you grew up in Brisbane, the clicking sound of a magpie’s beak and the beat of black wings are a certain sign of danger. The Bluebird Mechanicals is no less than this. A neat artist’s palate of danger organised, devised and occasionally improvised for your viewing pleasure and a reprieve from sanity.

Brought to Metro Arts by the collective minds of Talya Rubin and Nick James, this project has seen a few reiterations and work-shopped, late night studio sessions before being presented in its ultimate glory in the heart of Brisbane.

What is so particularly marvelous and nerve-wracking about this performance is Talya Rubin’s ability to subtly change her face and suddenly change the mood, the scene, the movement, the beat of a single monologue. No costume changes, perhaps a prop or two, but her grimace, glassy teary eyes or snickering grin transform her so impeccably. It’s an incredible ability as a performer and she has honed it to perfection.

Besides the quick pacing of Rubin’s face, the cliffhangers and darting narrative is precise and exact when it comes to a jilted switch. Just as the audience is on the edge of their seat, smacking their lips in an attempt not to yell out “What’s going to happen to her?” we are caught on a bird’s wing and whisked to another scene in another time. It is the perfect balancing act of lending out enough rope just to yank it back again.

The Bluebird Mechanicals is running until the 16th September in Brisbane’s Sue Benner Theatre. The early bird gets the worm. So don’t miss out on the show, as well as the one-off, free artist talk with Talya Rubin on at 9pm 14th September.

The reviewer attended the performance on 8th September.