This is an audience note to TJ Eckleberg. So often in programs we have director’s notes, notes on the hopes and aims or aspirations of the project. The audience is the receives all these ideas through the program notes and the performance, and yet often do not communicate their thoughts, reactions or responses to the work beyond applause. So this is a little audience note to the team which created Superperfect.

There are so many shows and so little time. In a diary filled with post-it notes, lists, budgets, to-dos, contact names, email addresses, phone numbers ticket stubbs, Superperfect was scrawled in pen as soon as I received the invite…. a title that amongst the crowded notes of my diary shouts in bold black pen.

As a documentarian of our theatre landscape, right here right now, this is not a classic review al la Sydney Morning Herald’s Jason Blake, nor the savvy experienced notes of Croggan, the sharp and honed eye and ear of Kevin Jackson or any other of my favourite bloggers – James Waites or Sydney Arts Journo (Nicholas Pickard)…. this is a letter to the cast and crew to say, congratulations.

Its been a few years since I have seen a show at Shopfront Theatre – stupid excuses keep me away – a demanding schedule, rehearsals, flu… whatever it has been , it has been my loss. I heard of Lost Toy Story and Katja Handt’s fantastic designs,.. but missed out. I am absolutely thrilled I got to see Superperfect. When I arrived at Shopfront, the ready to explore rooms of 3d installations, portraits, animations, papercranes, a room of post it notes with hopes, dreams, slogans, pictures on them, a wall of comic strip cartoons, projections, and small MP3 players with original songs/ sound designs fringing the space with tracks created by the particpants.
I had no idea what to expect in the space, and upon entry I was greeted by ushers who handed e a yellow post it note and a black texta with the instruction to write a hope or dream and stick it on the wall…
What to write? A sentence? A word? I am no longer a passive annonyous person – I am involved in this intimate admission. So i wrote: “to contribute to a long conversation and to listen”.. its true. I hope I can contribute and I was contributing and I was keen to listen and I did.

A white space – a tarpolin taped to the floor, rows of wooden chairs in traverse staging style. A small wireframed chainlink pen with four gates which had rock star lighting above (Stephen Hawker) and two chandeliers. On one end two photofram projections. the other end was where our post itnotes were stuck and near that end, a wire rack with about 30 spools of coloured rope/ribbon half dangling into the space. Also dangling into the space two old style chrome microphones and a few caged lightbulbs.
Punctuating the segments of games, confessions, post it notes, recited lists, spontaneous reflections, dance is the terrifying speed of a youthful stampede as they race in the space. Sweaty youthful vigor, impatience urgency and energy focussed into striving… racing like a river.
There are moments in this piece which completely dazzled me, moments of energetic pulse, adn moments of stillness, an ensemble of passionate and honest young people, sharing what we all know to be true: that the world is full of disappointment and mishap and pain and all that we strive for is sometimes more than we can acheive. That sometimes we fail, fall short and disappoint ourselves or others, and how do we and why do we pick ourselves up and keep going…

This is an impressive acheivement for the cast made up of Shopfront participants ( Arnab Ahmed, Eric Avery, Irene Berry, David Buckley, laura Carolan, Sam Dalley, diya Ingleshwar, Max Keatinge, Tennielle la-Grazia, Matthew Massaria, Alesha Murray, Alusine Sankoh, Holly Thompson) and Nibroll dancers (Ana Kuroda, Misato Mochizuki, Ai Totomi, Akiko Ishihara, Emi Oyama) and Keio SFC University (Keiko Hirono, Sho Tomita, Yoshinori Yagishita)- a blending and exchange of creative, cultural and private perspectives. Breathtaking. All I could think whilst watch this is complete awe at the beautiful and complete unfolding of ideas complete with beautiful tender moments realised superbly by this young, vibrant and unique cast. In fact, I felt sorry that I couldn’t tell more people about this show, that they couldn’t see what has conspired… and how impressive it is to have an idea: to cross land and cultural barriers to create a work of commonality- we all suffer the pressure of our hopes and dreams and they are what keeps us forward looking to the future.

And I couldn’t help but think how many artists really could have benefitted from seeing this show: to inspire them to be brave and honest and open to a creative cross-pollination of ideas.

And to the crew that put this together – TJ Eckleberg, Mikuni Yanaihara, Sarah Emery, Victoria Hunt & Bronwyn Turnbull, Kate Davis, Stephen Hawker, Keisuke Takahashi, David Kirpatrick… all those involved: this is a fine example of what two years of work can result in: a fine and focussed explorations of the expectation of what it means to be flawed in the face of perfection…. and strangely ironic that such a well developed and put to gether production woulf have an anxiety about failure of itself… as the director’s notes suggests that he hopes it woul dbe good enough – and I am here to declare Superperfect exceedes expectation and IS “good enough.”

Now Superperfect is off to Japan… and I am sure it will impress and inspire whomever has the luck, time and opportunity to see it.

Thankyou for pouring yourselves into this show. And congratulations.