When Wil Greenway walked on stage at The Blue Room Theatre, the whole space felt slightly warmer. Immediately, he shared himself so generously with the audience that it was almost impossible to look away.
The show’s narrative appeared to occupy his whole body, his movements like punctuation points that consolidated his words.
‘The Way The City Ate The Stars’ is a story told through various perspectives, timelines and locations. As an audience, we were invited to experience moments beside Greenway.
We found ourselves somewhere on a Melbourne street, looking at a traffic light with pleading eyes. We were hungover in falafel filled bedsheets.
We were driving long distance, with one hand out the window. We were actively occupying the narrative, rather than just witnessing it.
The show features live music interludes, with two musicians positioned on stage throughout the piece.
Although I found their content captivating, it was a slight divergence from the ongoing story.
As they played I felt pit-stopped and eager for Greenway to return.
However, this breath of music allowed for a necessary break in the narrative. It was notably well woven with the script, and felt integral to the ongoing mood and pace of the piece.
Greenway’s humour is the kind that sneaks up on you. Rather than forming direct jokes, he jostles with the audience like old friends at a barbecue. This show is a lesson in the human ability to laugh without realising it.
There were moments throughout the piece when a specific line or phrase grabbed me in a way that I could not shake. I found myself lost in Greenway’s words, wanting to hear them repeated again.
This show is a poem masterfully stretched across an hour. The theatre was saturated with stillness, the kind of entrancement that only a skilled storyteller can cultivate.
Above all, ‘The Way The City Ate The Stars’ is imaginative and intelligent. Greenway is a shapeshifter of storytelling, occupying all the quiet corners of a narrative without ever losing his audience.