Masked on the Eve of St. George - Raymond Helkio - MyGayToronto
Masked on the Eve of St. George 27 January 2018.
When we arrive, we're given a mask, a small glass bottle and a wax sealed note. We exchange our bottles for a glass of champagne at the bar and move onto the main floor of The Great Hall. It's dark, the room is sectioned off by movable curtains creating a barrier to the rest of the space. I took off my eye glasses, put on my mask and wandered through the crowd of faceless people. At first glance these people were like me in that they too were anticipating what was next except I notice the guy standing at the door is really weird. Vampire weird. He's completely detached from the surroundings and I'm not sure I want to get too close. I slip past him into the foyer as a bunch of kids come running down the stairs but it's as if they live here. As they run past us, one of the boys gently grabs my arm, pulls me close and seems really excited to tell me something. Maybe he's wants to tell me a secret or he's trying to get me to come with him I can't really tell. And then I get it, this kid is one of the vampire children from the story. I realize that the audience is peppered with actors, some with masks and some without so there's no way to really know who is who.
The magic of Eve of St. George is that there is no central access point into the storyline. Using all four levels of The Great Hall, guests wander where they wish encountering different scenes from the story as they unfold through dance, performance, sound and light. Each area of the space held new information and it quickly became apparent that to understand the story would mean we'd would literally have to walk through it. Sex, love, suicide and betrayal are blended together in an atmosphere of uncertainty making Eve of St. George a memorable and surreal experience. The term "immersive" has been over-used in theatre but this show lives up to the promise by removing the distinction between audience and performance.
ABOUT EVE OF ST. GEORGE
Created, directed and choreographed by Julia Cratchley, EVE OF ST. GEORGE is an immersive voyeuristic re-creation of one of our most chilling tales. Audience members are greeted, masqued and then set free to roam the four levels and countless rooms of the Great Hall as they wish, as the story unfolds around them… and sometimes interacts with them. Evocative, sensual, unnerving, unexpected, uncharted: what you focus on is up to you. Each person's experience of the show will be unique. Follow a character, investigate the environment, rifle through in the private effects of the characters . . . but whatever you do, don't venture into any of the rooms that are locked. There is a reason they are locked.