Game Show
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Sat, 29/03/2014 - 06:50am
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
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Game Show
Theatre Review by Leonard Miller

What: Game Show
Conceived by Tristan Meecham
Created & Performed by Tristan Meecham and the Aphids
Featuring Jonathon Welch and THECHO!R, and The Bodyelectric Dancers
Where: The Meat Market Arts House
When Thursday 20th March

Opening the Festival of Live Arts, City of Melbourne component, was Game Show - a show-biz spectacle that examines one manâ??s desperate pursuit of fame and his personal sacrifice for a chance at the big time.

The experience begins as you approach the venue, with the show inhabiting the entire Meat Market complex. Run as a television studio experience, the audience is greeted by an apparent production assistant at the entrance to the venue. After ascertaining whether youâ??re a contestant or member of the studio audience, you are directed to either the foyer or backstage to await the start of the show.

After a short wait, the doors to the space are opened and the audience is ushered into the venue where two large seating banks face a large raised platform. Behind the platform is the showcase, a motley collection of items that apparently make up the entirety of host (Meecham)â??s material possessions. Between the platform and the audience, cameras film the action and this is played live on screens mounted in the lighting rig. After a briefing given by the production assistants, the game show begins.

Taking the form of a number of physical challenges, designed to whittle down the contestants to determine who will play for the showcase of the hostâ??s belongings, these challenges are interspersed with a film of Meechamâ??s family discussing their feelings about the work, and an apparent real life game show producer dishing the dirt on the reality of being a television game show contestant.

The event is highly effective in replicating the atmosphere of being in a television studio audience, while Meechamâ??s charisma is undeniable and his performance is a nuanced parody of game show hosts that lasts the distance.

The games are fun to watch and the overall concept makes for an enjoyable experience. Some of the filmed episodes detailing the reality of the exploitation of the contestants are heavy handed, however and the show felt like it lasted fifteen minutes too long. While the Bodyelectric Dancers added humour and authenticity to the experience, and Jonathon Welch and The Cho!r also performed well, they both seemed an unnecessary excess that detracted from the overall concept of the game show format.

Over all Game Show is not only an engaging, funny, and bigger than Ben Hur show, held together by the incredible vision, talent and charisma of one man, but it is an ideal demonstration of how live arts can bring performance out of its traditional confines.
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Publisher: Leonard Miller
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