FRINGE REVIEW – Maria de Buenos Aires (Zoo Southside)


23- 30 Aug
2040 (2150) @ Zoo Southside

This show has been dividing opinion this month. Indeed, at this performance an entire row walked out halfway through, yet the show closed to rapturous applause and cries of “bravo!”.

The show opens with a fairly shocking visual statement of intent which may turn more delicate stomachs but gives a strong clue as to what is to follow, for this piece is less a narrative, more a sensual poem that could have come directly from Dali’s paintbrush.

Too, audience who come expecting a dance piece (not unreasonable when the show is billed as a “tango operita”) may be disappointed. This is a highly physical piece of theatre and there are a stunning couple of dancers, but they are only one small piece of the picture.

However, for those who can put such qualms of narrative, language (this reviewer caught snippets of at least four different languages, but only a few words in English) and any previous expectations aside, this show has its own rewards in plenty.

To enjoy this show, empty your mind, sit back, and let the experience wash over you, for this is a sensual feast of a production. Visually stunning, with inventive and atmospheric staging, passionate vocals and live band, sultry dancers and perfumes piped in to waft scents of oranges, spices and coffee over the audience, there is always something to look at, something to listen to, something to make you feel.

So for this reviewer, Maria gets a solid four stars. But this, even more so than with many other productions, is entirely subjective!

Further information is available on the Zoo Venues website.

Review by Ingrida Dornbrook

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