Brush Theatre Company
Hailing from South Korea, Brush tells the story of a young boy who, wishing for a younger brother, embarks on a journey to find magic dust that will make his mother have another child.
This production introduces an interesting and largely effective technique of building the settings and scenarios within the piece by gradually creating paintings on large boards at the back of the stage. With sneezing deities and cosily lit up houses, these paintings are a dynamic and impressive addition to the production. However, such visual delights are not enough to sustain a production on their own.
Successful audience interaction takes a balancing act of control and flexibility. Throughout the production, the interactions between performers and audience lacked this balance; too often it felt that the performers were talking at rather than to the audience, breaking the fourth wall but leaving the remains just a little too high to get past.
Though Brush is a mixed bag in terms of technique, it is the plot that is the real stumbling block in this production. It may be poorly articulated at times, but the plot presents the audience with a strong message that must be considered when choosing to see this production. The boy wants a brother, and so does his father, but his mother asserts that she does not want to and cannot have another child because she doesn’t have enough money. Though the show does try to teach good lessons about being a sibling, in the end the boy gets the magic dust to make his mother have another child, he gets his way despite his mother’s wishes. This show is aimed at an audience of 4+, an impressionable demographic. Lessons on ideas such as respect and consent are learned early, and such a strong message in a work can influence that (whether it was intentionally presented or it came as a result of one of numerous gaps in the story-telling within this production.)
Brush Theatre company bring to the stage a production that, while it has artistic potential, misses its mark overall and loses its audience frequently. Overall Brush is a visually creative and interesting production that lacks the support of a confidently developed and delivered script.
Brush finished its run at On The Edge on Tuesday July 5th.