Last month, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre Playhouse Theatre was host to a limited season of 7 Deadly Sins. This new dance production has been choreographed by Natalie Weir, who has for many years now been involved with a variety of acclaimed productions performed in Queensland, Australia and around the world. Taking their show on the road, Expressions Dance Company have brought 7 Deadly Sins to The Arts Centre Gold Coast for two sessions only, giving Gold Coasters unable to make the trip up to Brisbane a very limited chance to enjoy this new production. Although my reviewing experience in theatre primarily focuses on stage musicals, I had the opportunity to attend this show’s Gold Coast opening night yesterday evening, and was quite surprised with what was presented.
Staying true to its title, 7 Deadly Sins involves the traditional seven deadly sins: Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy, Pride and Wrath – each of which is represented by a different performer (Cloudia Elder, Daryl Brandwood, Jack Ziesing, Elise May, Rebecca Hall, Benjamin Chapman and Michelle Barnett respectively). The opening scene features a man who is sitting in a nondescript room watching television. As he sits there, a ‘duplicate’ of himself (Portrayed by Thomas Gundry Greenfield) rises from his body, appearing alongside representations of the seven deadly sins which appear one after another. The man begins to interact with these sins as they individually appear, bringing a new approach relevant to the respective sin. Later they begin to clash among themselves, leading into a surprisingly intense finale.
I do recommend reading the complementary pamphlet provided upon entry into the theatre, so you can quickly acquaint yourself with whom is representing what sin and a little bit about what is about to unravel before your eyes (With an ‘About the Show’ penned by Natalie Weir herself). Although I will admit feeling a bit confused at times, what was being presented on stage was satisfying, complemented by strong dance (solo and partnered), body movements and emotion on behalf of the cast.
What impressed me with 7 Deadly Sins was its minimalist yet very effective set design, truly different from the sparkle I experienced 24 hours before at Strictly Ballroom the Musical. Although the set consisted of little more than the one main stage piece (in which the “Man” was sitting watching television) and the seven boxes that each sin arrived onto stage in, they were utilised well by the cast and allowed plenty of room for the cast to perform in. Even more impressive was the lighting design by David Walters, which on many occasions helped enrich the tone of a particular scene.
I would describe the experience provided by 7 Deadly Sins as being more sophisticated and intellectually stimulating than entertaining, with the show effectively using expressive and emotive dancing/movements to present an intriguing tale. Coming in at approximately 60 minutes in length, this show worked with its shorter run time well, supported by fantastic choreography presented by a clearly skilled cast and a good combination of set design, lighting and music.
Unfortunately due to its limited season at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, there are currently no additional sessions of 7 Deadly Sins confirmed for the venue as of this review going live.
A ticket to see 7 Deadly Sins was provided by The Arts Centre Gold Coast.