FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Hummingbird (4 stars)

Review by Laura Money

A beautifully rendered piece of physical theatre, Hummingbird tells a fierce love story and the lengths people will go to for their deepest desires. Set in a bygone post-war era, two lonely hearts find each other, and fall in love via correspondence, all set to a soundtrack of glamorous music and advertisements.

Items of clothing, letters, sparse furniture and suitcases are scattered about the stage – reanimated by the performers to create an ethereal and emotional unfolding of a beautiful, yet terrible story. Tooth + Nail Theatre Company bring the true story of Edith Cole, a mortuary worker and Ralph Conti, a conman of modest success to light. From their first tenuous meeting, to the budding love that emerges as two people are thrust together in intense circumstances.

The two lovers discover the horrors of betrayal from each other and the world, yet ride it out together. Characters weave in and out of each others’ arms in a pure expression of every emotion, and the intensity of fear that grips them. A third dancer takes on the role of inquisitor and authoritarian, yet acts as a guide through the story – a silent narrator, the physical manifestation of the moral compass of society.

The expressions of the actor’s faces and silken movements are captivating. The tension that runs throughout, aided by a recording of interrogation tapes and jaunty Americana advertising, is juxtaposed with the perfect fluidity of the dance. Tooth + Nail have created a truly beautiful, haunting story that blurs the line between right and wrong, and will question your empathy.


When: 30th January – 4th February 2017 | 9:30pm

Where: Burt Memorial Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

Tickets: $23 – $26

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable 15+