Adelaide Fringe 2011
A wakeful hermit gets her inspiration from the moon; under its soft, spellbinding glow she writes, she dances, she sings. One night she meets the moon and her life changes. Sun Li Tsuei gives an astounding and controlled performance as the hermit and conveys a thousand words with a single expression.
La Lune Souffle is a captivating story about the moon as a living thing, and muse to a hermit. Sun Li Tsuei personifies the ever-changing nature of the moon with hypnotic, deliberate movements. She grows and diminishes in accordance to her moods; she is lively and withdrawn; she creates and extinguishes—like the moon, she is beautiful and inspiring. When she meets the moon, she is mortal once again; her curiosity and playful nature are revealed when the moon descends upon her and enlightens her spirit. It is a unique performance and Tsuei’s spell is never broken as she wordlessly communicates with the audience and entertains them.
Much of the play relied on the soft light from the moon, cleverly done using a lantern and translucent fabric while a flickering candlelight provided enough natural luminosity to create shadows and silhouettes at the beginning. The lighting was also used effectively to create the mood and aura as Tsuei’s performance progressed. Oriental music accentuated the Eastern philosophies and complemented the performance. Tsuei’s own singing and dancing also imparted the Chinese Taoist expression that the moon is a living thing that can stimulate and initiate change. She exploited the stage and her practiced movements were arousing and overwhelming despite the measured and gradual advancement.
The production was an impressive piece of mime theatre and Tsuei’s performance is both fascinating and enthralling. The only letdown is that time seems suspended at such a late hour, especially since the lingering movements and tranquil ambience induces a state of relaxation and stupor. However, the setting, performance, soundtrack and lighting contributed to the accolades of this mime performance, which pioneers physical and mime theatre. It was an exceptional piece and unique experience that transported the audience to a mysterious world with effortless elegance and a timeless performance.