As someone who struggles to pat her head and rub her stomach at the same time, I was in awe at RCS lecturer Ramesh’s ability to multitask his movements in his latest visual theatre show, Off-Kilter at Tron Theatre.
Off-Kilter was about Joe Kilter, a man who likes order in his life. Some of us like to have a plan and be organised but for Joe, this order was noticeable in the way he would throw his keys in the air a certain number of times and align his shoes up at exactly the right angle.
The stage set up was simple; a table with a chair, a ticking clock and a wooden shelf that had various items on it including a bottle of whiskey perhaps a hint that all is not well with Mr Kilter?
Joe gets in from work, does his usual routine but then something different happens one evening. A letter floats down onto his desk in a brown envelope – the kind of envelope that looks official. It was also the same letter that we had on our seats when we came into the theatre, but hadn’t opened yet.
This change in Joe’s day clearly affects him, he can’t stop thinking about the unopened letter and tries to get rid of it. First, he puts it in the bin but then the letter ends up coming out of the table moments like these bring comedic relief to Joe’s increasingly agitated performance.
The tricks didn’t stop there; there were clocks that kept sprouting out of his dressing gown, a pencil that kept multiplying, an ID lanyard that re-appeared, and a cookie that didn’t disappear when eaten (I want to know where I can find those).
Towards the end, Joe finally opened the letter revealing that his employment had come to an end. For Joe, this unwelcome news brought chaos to an otherwise orderly life.
Off-Kilter brought a hearing and deaf audience together to enjoy the same performance and come away with it with the same understanding which I think is quite nice. I left the Tron Theatre that night with a new appreciation for Visual Theatre.
Have a look at Ramesh’s website for more of his work.