Review: Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden

An innovative and heart-warming performance

theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 23 Feb 2020
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Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden

Marvelous Mechanical Musical Maiden is a whimsical and enchanting storytelling experience. With rouged cheeks and wide eyes, performer and creative producer Carmel Clavin is utterly entrancing as the Maiden, a woman once flesh and blood but entrapped as an automaton after losing her voice to the father of the technological age, Thomas Edison.

Surprised to find herself waking in Adelaide in the year 2020, the Maiden shares her journey from fin de siècle through to the 21st century, touching on the sparks she loved and lost and longed for along the way. The whimsy soon gives way to something deeper as the Maiden’s experiences reveal the cycles of inequality, ecological catastrophe and disconnection which, despite great technological innovations, have haunted humans for a century. 

In a bespoke, handmade steampunk dress, the Maiden is truly a technological marvel. A walking, talking one-woman theatre-cabaret, she wears software coded into the seams of her dress and speakers hidden in the paniers beneath her bustle.

As music emits at the touch of her finger, her haunting voice breathes mechanical life into Regina Spektor, Ella Fitzgerald and David Bowie. There is a powerful intimacy in her performance as she connects with each member of her audience.