Jellyfish Brains sees and feels everything



The main element of the success of this show is the beauty of the designAlbi Rix received permission from the national team

jellyfish brain finds success in their ability to not take themselves too seriously. Much of the 50-minute piece is high-concept on paper, oriented toward audience-participatory performance, but its frequent return to sheer silliness makes its artistry even more so. It makes you feel it deeply. This is largely because the play makes use of the larger motif of the jellyfish brain (which does not exist, but is therefore equally present everywhere). (I recommend a quick Google search before continuing reading.)

Written and directed by Sarah Fowler, jellyfish brain It is a very creative combination of comedy, poetry and movement. The audience watches Viola (Martha Alexander) and Orsino’s (Caleb Marlowe) love story expand, contract, and flare up, guided by the sensory experiences of all three. From the moment the two lovers appear on stage, in a sequence that feels incredibly organic, you can tell that the play is about to turn into something particularly magical.

“The frequent return to sheer stupidity makes its artistry all the more poignant.”

There’s also 1 (Georgia Emanuel) and 2 (Sam Erickson) – two clowns? A jellyfish? Amoeba children? – Jolly in coordinating Juicy Couture-inspired “Jelly” and “Fish” sweatsuits, 1 and 2 are always ready to observe the action and intervene. It’s not entirely clear who 1 and 2 are, what they represent, or what they’re doing in each place at the same time, but somehow it doesn’t really seem to matter that much. While Viola and Orsino deal with a “real world” relationship crisis, they continue to live through the rise and fall of an underwater universe. There’s nothing like untying someone’s shoelaces in the front row or playing her Wordle on an audience member’s cell phone to remind the audience that something ridiculous is actually going on beneath the surface. It is not.

That’s not the case jellyfish brain It’s not serious. Amid the quirky gags, sex-girlfriend jokes (“What if you forget your lines and your dick falls out?”), thumb sucking, and more, Fowler also clearly has something to say about the sheer infantile nature of human desire. Viola and Orsino have petty quarrels and violent fights, love each other, and then hate each other again. Viola shines her flashlight into Orsino’s eyes and cries. Orsino is completely unable to admit that he is “on fire” for himself. They always love like children, like “newborns.” Fowler approaches such a tender subject without any pretension, embracing its rather heavy psychology from a rather playful place.

“Fowler was able to approach such a tender topic in a completely nonchalant way.”

Another big factor in the success of this show is the beauty of the design. Viola’s costume (designed by Dan Mills) is particularly striking, as is, of course, the glowing jellyfish umbrella (though I’m still not sure what the occasional jellyfish appearance means). Fowler’s use of New His Sellers’ space was also thoughtful and effective. There are subtle jellyfish-like motifs all over the place, which are obviously very cute and fun.

It’s hard to think of anything that needs to be addressed in this piece at all. It’s beautifully self-contained and clearly well-rehearsed and knows exactly what it wants to be. Most of the time, even if he stagnated the humor in 1 and 2 or couldn’t quite catch the names of each “chapter”; jellyfish brainCompared to its stride length, stumbles are minimal.

Probably, if anything, jellyfish brain There’s just room to keep growing. When 1 and 2 tease a “break” right before the end of the play, you really believe them (and not just because you’ve learned to do what they say)! It seems to me that there is a lot of story to follow and I can only hope that her excellent cast sticks around until the end.

jellyfish brain will be playing at New Cellars in Pembroke from 7pm until Saturday, May 11th.





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