Aufbruchsgeister - Departing Minds

Aufbruchsgeister - Departing Minds
Written and directed by Bello Benischauer. Existence Theatre. Old Customs House, Phillimore St, Fremantle, WA. FringeWorld. Jan 14-22, 2021

Existence Theatre’s Departing Minds is a highly physical, ethereal piece of theatre that asks the audience to examine their beliefs and perhaps their existence.

A group of people scattered around the world are afraid of losing their freedom, so with the help of a mysterious phone ap, they leave their old lives behind, and escape to a forest. Once together they realise that despite their shared feelings, they actually have little in common, and they are forced to face themselves.

Existence Theatre uses extensive and compelling projections throughout (the Austrian forest featured has a wonderful sense of mystery), it is completely underscored, with unconventional low lighting. Dialogue (or more accurately a succession of monologues) is highly poetic. Highly immersive - the audience are drawn, literally, into the production.

The performers work beautifully as an ensemble, with strong teamwork and beautiful physicality, although the nature of playing in the round means that not all of the spoken word is easy to hear. Strong work from Liv Richardson, Ainsley Marr, Emma Benischauer and Existence Theatre co-founder, Elisabeth Eitelberger.

Departing Minds isn’t for everyone. If you like your theatre linear, comfortable and “well” lit this is probably not for you, but if you would like a FringeWorld choice that is confronting, challenging, different and intriguing, Aufbruchsgeister - Departing Minds is a wise choice

Kimberley Shaw

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter, buy our latest print edition or find a Performing Arts book at Book Nook.