In an intriguing and hilarious blend of theatre, art and technology, Cackling Jackal Productions, led by Kyron Weetra and Josh Mensch, present a fun sci-fi take on the classic shipwreck tale.
When their ship’s computer develops a few issues in an update, the travelling band are left stranded in deep space. With a mildly incompetent captain, and mutinying crew, things go from bad to worse pretty quickly. To keep moral up, they decide to tell each other tales from the past and ‘ghost stories’, while hi-jinks and mayhem occur in the background of the ship.
The crew consists of a whole slew of local artists, including Kyron Weetra as the confidently disastrous Captain Balthramane, Josh Mensch as the android C.H.A.R.L.13 (Charlie), Alex Petkova as the malfunctioning and sassy computer, Derik Lynch as the card wielding D.D., Gab Allani as the dramatic Hyphen, Lucia Van Sebille as the sweet Stifle, Mikayla Lynch as the fierce Nova, and Adam Alexander in a surprise role.
As tales are told, different characters go backstage to play the roles in the stories before we come back to the characters and the worsening situation on the ship. Moreover, as the story follows this motley crew, their tales, while silly, also hold commentary on deeper topics like capitalism, and how the advancement of our technology could one day be looked back on as ‘ghost stories’.
Though, the Cackling Jackal doesn’t stray from this advancement in the slightest, as they showcase new and innovative ways to combine art with technology throughout the show. As it features live animation performances, which were incorporated through collaboration with local digital artists and 3-D animators, ACOLAB, Darcy Holmes, and Thomas Meakin, using motion capture technology. You can even access their digital show program, just by tapping your phone to a poster.
The show itself uses a projector to display previously shot clips and the live motion capture, in an innovative use of set design. They utilise the stage space of the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute well, making it look like a spaceship’s cockpit with minimal props.
Overall, the show is fun and silly, with a decent dash of Black Mirror, given its open-ended conclusion and weird ‘ghost stories’, The End is High-Concept is definitely a must watch this fringe season.