Ambitious mix of science, theatre

Butterfly Flutters/January Burns
Allen Hall Theatre
Tuesday, March 19


Butterfly Flutters/January Burns aims to meld science with physical theatre.

While the production nails elements of both, I fear it fails to bridge these into a coherent whole.

This production by theatrical ensemble Localised Friday is ambitious, but it falls victim at times to an unfortunate case of telling rather than showing — a path its strong subject matter may have unwittingly led it down.

The production dissects the inherent uncertainty of the universe, by offering an all-ages explanation of Chaos Theory.

When it focused on why some things in life have to happen, when we so desperately want them not to, this added heart to a strangely beautiful scientific concept — a much better explanation than any diagram could hope to offer.

There were a couple of expository monologues I thought were a bit frank and pulled me out of the piece.

This was frustrating as other monologues were much more tactfully executed, such as a letter being read aloud between two cast members across time.

The production is technically masterful, undoubtedly its biggest strength.

I was impressed by the multiple narratives woven throughout, and the scene transitions between each.

An interpretive dance which chronicled the entropic flow of particles was especially beautiful.

Reflective glass and lighting were employed cleverly, as was the use of space on stage.

The sparing use of sound and unexpected addition of falling leaves were magical — both of which stood out above the rest.

I did not think 40 minutes was too short of a duration, but the ending did feel abrupt.

At times, the equation of science and theatre achieved lift-off, but for the most part it had one foot too much in each camp.

While the attempt was admirable, I cannot help but feel there was lingering potential left untapped.

Further productions at 6pm today and tomorrow.