Aaron Orzech and Collaborators
Presented by Arts House and Aaron Orzech and Collaborators
Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 November, 2022
Wed – Sat, 7.30pm
Pay if you can $35
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
A meditation on boyhood as it is lived, remembered and lost.
Inside a moment before childhood is lost forever, a man and a boy capture and dodge each other’s shadows, cleaving together, pulling apart, traversing the ghostly landscape of an abandoned Neverland. They hurl themselves into the sun, sliding in and out of unison, two drowned boys at the bottom of a pond, splitting and returning, refusing to stay still.
Hovering between dance and theatre, NEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVER is a portrait of the friendship between 36-year-old Aaron Orzech and 13-year-old Sol Feldman, unfolding through a dialogue between their bodies.
- JM Barrie
AARON: A few years ago Sol and I were standing next to each other after a show he’d performed in. Somebody noticed a strange resemblance between us and joked that we should make a show where we each played a version of the other. That was the beginning.
When this process began, Sol was eight and we’d already collaborated on a few projects, but this is the first time we’ve devised and performed together. For me, having made a few works with young people where the lens was on the children performing and the adults who were watching, I wanted to put myself in the frame, to see what sort of world our bodies could summon together, what sort of wildness and melancholy. I always felt an odd sense of loss at the edges of all this; something to do with boyhood and growing up, the parts of you that stay frozen and the parts that fall away, the impossible desire to capture a mercurial moment of sadness and joy and keep it. So almost inevitably the story of Peter Pan filtered in, and its author too: his strange life, the loss of his brother, his arrested physical growth and the whole idea of a liminal mirror world that can only be entered at the moment of falling asleep.
But ultimately it feels like the work is centred on our friendship, an unusual and fragile and unnameable thing which only really exists inside the performance space, in the world of our improvisations, in the closeness and distance of our bodies as they move in unison and opposition.
SOL: The work began when people started calling me Aaron’s Mini-me, four years ago. I was eight years old. We started doing some physical improvisations, and we weren’t really sure what they were about. I remember getting up on Aaron’s shoulders, and moves we called Egg and Lasagne, and struggling to get down off Aaron’s shoulders. The process and the show are full of energy, movement, fun, action, excitement and sadness. It’s about never growing up. Sometimes I am like an inner child inside Aaron that never grows up. There’s the author of Peter Pan in there, and his brother who died ice-skating, and other stories of flying into the sun and burnt wings. It can be loud and big and intense, and also quiet and full of suspense. At the beginning it was really about our bodies and relationship. Now we know each other better after four years, we know more about each other. I am the Mini-me but then we swap. I am crazy, energetic, and very different from the way I normally am. I move through all sorts of characters. Aaron is like a rock or a mountain, and also sometimes like a mother.
About the Artists
Sol Feldman is a passionate young performer, training with Alex Walker at The House of Muchness. Sol performed the lead in Fraught Outfit’s Book of Exodus part One and Two at Theatre Works (Dir. Adena Jacobs) in 2017. More recently, he toured Tasmania for the Ten Days on the Island festival with The Children’s Party in 2019 (Dir. Alex Walker and Ben Landau) as well as performing at the Melbourne Town Hall in 2019. Sol played Finn in Patalog Theatre Company’s performance of Tusk Tusk at St Martins in 2019 (Dir. Ruby Rees), and performed in Singing Swallows (Dir. Romi Kumpfer) 2021 at Theatre Works. Sol has also completed numerous short films and commercials.
Devisors and Performers: Sol Feldman, Aaron Orzech
Choreographer: Jo Lloyd
Dramaturg: Adena Jacobs
Sound Designer: James Paul
Set and Costume Designer: Kate Davis
Lighting Designer: Jen Hector
Youth Arts Consultant: Alex Walker
Producer: Erin Milne
Associate Producer: Xavier O’Shannessy
Child Welfare Assistant: Tove Due, Bridie Noonan
Development Producers: Asha Bee Abraham, Naomi Velaphi
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the Besen Family Foundation, Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image credit: Pia Johnson
Image description: A man and a boy stand in front of a white background wearing white shirts. The boy looks back at the camera with one eyebrow slightly raised. He has one arm around the neck of a man – who is bent over beside him – the other arm reaches behind his back and holds the man’s hand.