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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 6, 2020

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Brisbane Festival: The Bluebird Mechanicals

Brisbane Festival: The Bluebird Mechanicals
Harry Wallace

It’s a safe bet that The Bluebird Mechanicals is like no play you’ve ever seen before.
This visionary work from Talya Rubin is a fascinating exercise in abstraction, storytelling, and masterful design. The concept combines a number of disparate, seemingly unrelated piece of story, weaving them together with the deftness of a master seamstress to create a fantastical tapestry of theatre.

The story introduces an expanded world scenario, with one of the main protagonists being Kostya’s ghost in the aftermath of Chekhov’s The Seagull. It then places the audience on the set of The Hindenburg, imbued with the dramatic irony of its final flight. This is woven together with a sub-plot concerning the dialogue of a number of seemingly sentient birds providing a commentary on the end of the world. If any of these elements intrigue you, particularly with the mystery of how they all come together, you’ll have to see the show for yourself. It would be borderline pointless to try and convey the complexities through text.

While the story is fantastical, the really fantastic part of the play is the incredible set design. A moving, dynamic piece of symbolic storytelling, it leaves the audience constantly wondering what the next surprise will be. There’s waterworks, pyrotechnics, puppetry, projection, destruction, creation and more.

The set, story and performance all culminate in a truly explosive finale. The audience is left sitting in stunned silence, contemplating the dense symbolism and marvelling at the sheer showmanship of Rubin’s deeply personal creation.

If you want to catch The Bluebird Mechanicals for yourself, you’ll have to act fast. We’re in the twilight days of Brisbane Festival, and tonight is the show’s last performance. You can grab tickets for The Bluebird Mechanicals here.