Insomniac Productions, Clair de Luz

Review in Issue 6-1 | Spring 1994

Enter the world of Clair de Luz. Settle into a plush seat of this replica 50s flea pit cinema, tuck into your popcorn, and let the compelling soundtrack and intrigue carry you away. The music, the dim lights and the movie-like credits allow you to believe that this really is a cinema.

The action takes place as if behind a screen, sectioned off for close ups and intimate action, and opened far out for a full epic expanse. The lighting not only conjures up the beauty of the film set but also creates an atmosphere beyond any screen interpretation, drawing the audience into the action via the seductive and the palpable. But for all its film-like quality, this performance is definitely theatre. Brooks takes advantage of the mesmerising qualities of movies and places his theatrical craft up against it. It’s not that we are not used to seeing kissing on stage, or hearing gun shot, but because the action has seemingly been removed from theatre reality that we are suddenly very aware of their impact. When two people kiss, they are really kissing. When a women screams, we really know it. When gun shot is fired, we are momentarily afraid. But the performers aren’t really shot. Of course not. The once dead, stand up again as Brooks throws us back into the make believe world of the theatre.

Unfortunately the narrative of Clair de Luz was unclear amongst the complex design. The marrying of theatre and film did not quite come together. Although it gave us a sense of the games that both media play on our consciousness, the real heart of the theatre performance seemed lost at the expense of Brooks’ cinema idea. It would be great to see this performance again when the innards of the show are as exciting as its outer shell.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-1
p. 17