Review | ‘Worship – Memento Vivere’ celebrates life in the darkness

Worship – Memento Vivere | The Rechabite | Season Ended | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

From the beautifully ghastly minds that brought the ritual of Worship to Fringe World festivals past, a new enchantment was cast upon The Rechabite last weekend.

Adorned with the brilliant lights of Beamhacker and the beautiful taxidermy work of Preserving4TheFuture, The Rechabite Hall was transformed into a dark church set to host an evening of performance and communion.

Guests were greeted by acolytes Bobbie Apples and Camden Champagne and offered a sprig of rosemary to add to a central pile, as well as a small piece of paper on which to write something you’re seeking to purge, to exorcise through the evening’s liturgy.

The gorgeously haunting vocals of Moana Mayatrix opened proceedings. As with their earlier shows, Worship brings together some of Perth’s best performers across a range of media to interpret the theme. Their debut collaboration explored the art of worship, while this time the theme is Memento Vivere – “Remember To Live”.

Each act guided the audience through a striking and stylish exploration of death, life and rebirth. Dancer Bobby Knox channeled fear and the unknown in her contemporary piece, drowning in the darkness on stage; Visual artist Essie Foxglove, who always stuns with their mere silhouette in gorgeous costumes and couture, embodied both harbinger of death and natural life in separate moments; Acrobat Matthew Pope elicited gasps from the audience as he took to the air, writhing against unseen currents on the trapeze.

Drag artist Ginava also returned for Memento Vivere, with a gorgeous new costume creation that they shed, later teaming up with Knox for a celebratory and exquisite dance routine; burlesque beauty Darla Harland manifested life with a passionate routine that lifted the audience before the grand finale, as fire mistress Smokey Labare rained luminous sparks and ash upon the floor.

Though the extended running time sometimes drew attention to gaps between numbers and set-ups for the stage, the collective have retained the gravitas and elegance of their original show with exciting new cast members and ambitious new routines.

The performance was event complemented with an after party on each night of the performance, with DJs and musicians including Tether, Moana, Blackantlers and Kim ‘Lil, late into the night.

Each of these wonderful local artists brought something brilliant to the stage, and when combined with exceptional lighting, sound design, music and decor, Worship – Memento Vivere is even greater than the sum of its parts.

Worship – Memento Vivere has ended its limited season – but be sure to stay tuned for what’s coming next on Instagram and Facebook.

Leigh Andrew Hill

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