Review: Resplendence (Old Fitzroy Theatre)

oldfitzVenue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Nov 29 – Dec 10, 2016
Playwright: Angus Cerini
Director: Nathan Lovejoy
Cast:¬†James O’Connell
Image by Pernilla Finne

Theatre review
A young man walks into the auditorium, dishevelled and distressed. He is incoherent, and remains so for the entire duration of the 50-minute play. Our humanity compels us to connect; our instinct is to reach out for an understanding, but he is elusive, and we must decide how to make sense of his evanescent presence.

Actor James O’Connell’s performance is vulnerable yet confident, full of power and focus. What the play lacks in structural conventionality or narrative logic, O’Connell compensates with outstanding emotional intensity. Adding to the astringent atmosphere is director Nathan Lovejoy’s clever use of lights and sound, delivering an experience memorable for its unrelenting severity.

Angus Cerini’s Resplendence may not communicate well, but it represents with convincing legitimacy, a state, or perhaps, a mode of being, that contradicts how most of us think of life. Fractured, irrational and puzzling, the man reminds us of lost souls who roam the streets, people we might consider vagrant, even insane, but as we get lost in his anguished rhapsodies, we discover parts within our selves that are not dissimilar to the smithereens disseminated onstage.