The making of NEVERNEVERNEVERNEVER NEVERNEVERNEVER
An artist statement by Aaron Orzech and Sol Feldman
“We do change; we must. Except a little something in us no larger than a mote in the eye, that dances in front of us, beguiling us all our days. I cannot cut the hair by which it hangs…”
– 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
Aaron Orzech has worked as a performer, director, dramaturg and collaborative creator of numerous works including plays, large-scale community events, dance-theatre, devised performance and documentary theatre. Recent works include: The Collected Works of Victor Bergman, which he co-directed and performed; Fraught Outfit’s Innocence Trilogy, which he co-created with Adena Jacobs; Samara Hersch’s META and The Judgement as a devisor/performer; The Director and A Singular Phenomenon co-created with Lara Thoms/Aphids; and as a dramaturg, Bell Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.
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.
NEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVERNEVER by Aaron Orzech and Collaborators
Wednesday 9 – Sunday 13 November, 2022
Wed – Sat, 7.30pm
Image Credit: Pia Johnson