Scarabeus Theatre Company, Fata Morgana - Vision of the Skywalkers

Review in Issue 9-2 | Summer 1997

Dusk at the Spring Gardens Arts Centre, High Wycombe was the setting for a celebration of the natural elements in Scarabeus Theatre Company’s outdoor performance of Fata Morgana – Vision of the Skywalkers.

Three stiltwalkers descended gently upon the crowd, the manifestation of nebulae and images of white benevolence. A firecracker exploding behind us snapped our attention to a tree and the emergence of two dark creatures from sleep. Tiny and curious, they abseiled from its branches to carry water along a candlelit path. Waves crashed on an invisible shore.

What followed was a visit to another world, where earth meets sky in a movement piece at once indicative of battle and a dance of celebration. The visual images for the most part were striking: a vivid blue cloth becomes the sea; twisting lengths of material suggested spinning webs, cocooning and rebirth; a necklace of fireworks a stunning backdrop to the action. Music underscored the performance and only occasionally seemed heavy-handed. Unsolicited birdsong was a perfect accompaniment. The performers themselves were graceful and agile (a difficulty on stilts), communicating well with a rapt audience.

Scarabeus have created a piece which integrates all its components to effect an assault on the senses which is uplifting and transporting. Fire, music, dance and the night’s half-light sparked the imagination. Indeed, we were witness to a ritual, a summoning of the elements – ten minutes before the end, the rain came down in buckets. Thunderous applause and a fitting finale to a magic night.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-2
p. 23