Venue: Bondi Pavilion Theatre (Bondi NSW), Jul 17 & 24
Playwrights: Jessica Tuckwell, Chris Summers, Mark Rogers, Nakkiah Lui
Directors: Kate Gaul, Corey McMahon, Phil Spencer, Matilda Ridgway
Actors: Sandie Eldridge, Lorna Munro, Huw McKinnon, Madeleine Levins, Simon Corfield
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Four plays with different themes, styles and ideas, all with its own appeal. The opportunities a short play presents is manifold, but chiefly, it allows for the exploration of a single idea with minimal distraction from sub-plots, secondary characters and other auxiliary elements.
Dessert is a macabre story about marriage and death. Sandie Eldridge’s performance of a middle-aged widow impressively positions the play in a delusional psychological space but carefully presents her character with empathy and sadness. The balance between shock value and sensitivity in this work is exquisite.Washer Woman also features a lone female character. Jessica Tuckwell’s script is poetic and abstract, and Madeleine Levins brings to the piece enough tension and drama to create a semblance of narrative to keep its audience engaged.
The Buck tackles mateship and Aussie bloke culture. The piece creates a formidable air of violence in the theatre, effectively focussing on the dark side to contemporary Australian lives. Similarly working with danger and brutality is Ideginaiety, which presents a harrowing perspective of revenge and colonialism. This is an interesting exploration into indigenous culture through a prism of metaphysicality and crime. The structure of the script and the brave choices it makes is original and powerful, and definitely warrants an extended rendering.