Venue: Blood Moon Theatre (Potts Point NSW), Oct 11 – 19, 2017
Playwright: Liviu Monsted
Director: Liviu Monsted
Cast: Courtney Adams, Alison Benstead, Alana Birtles, Roslyn Hicks, Nathaniel Hole, Dale Wesely Johnson Green, Steve Maresca, Dean Nash, Katie Regan
In a purgatorial room, the dead wait for their turn to meet Ignus, a psychoanalyst in the esoteric dimension, who provides assistance to move these wandering spirits on to their eternity. It is an appealing allegory that we find in Liviu Monsted’s In Waiting, using the device of psychotherapy to illustrate the need for a certain enlightenment, intellectual and emotional , before life can take on a meaningful course. Monsted sets up an intriguing context, with charming interaction between his ghosts, but substantial portions of the 150-minute production involve two-hander sessions in Ignus’ consultation office, during which the writing often becomes convoluted and self-indulgent.
The work is certainly contemplative, but its dialogue frequently lapses into a dense and obtuse language, that is probably more suited to the form of a short novel than it does the stage. Acting style is uniformly animated, and although rarely authentic, the performers demonstrate a generosity in their prioritising of the text, which helps us decipher the proceedings. Actor Alison Benstead cuts a striking figure as the mysterious Ignus, impressive with the quantity of words she commits so effortlessly to memory. Also showing good commitment is Katie Regan as Estelle, the young woman who has to confront hard memories before she can be released from a state of stagnation.
The waiting room is a necessary space, but some of us can stay too long, in a condition of regret and fear. The future is always in conversation with the past. It might be useful to think that we can close the door on anterior events, but there is nothing we do today, that is not a result of experiences from all the yesterdays. To forget, is only to have it relegated to the subconscious. The characters who do well in In Waiting, are those able to find something that looks like acceptance. Time may not be linear, but no matter how we conceive of its passage, torment is not being able to move with it.