Review: Clyde’s (Ensemble Theatre)

Venue: Ensemble Theatre (Kirribilli NSW), May 5 – Jun 10, 2023
Playwright: Lynn Nottage
Director: Darren Yap
Cast: Charles Allen, Gabriel Alvarado, Nancy Denis, Aaron Tsindos, Ebony Vagulans
Images by Prudence Upton

Theatre review

In the run-down kitchen of a busy truck stop diner in Pennsylvania, five ex-felons navigate life and sandwich recipes, in search of purpose, hope and redemption. Lynn Notage’s 2021 play Clyde’s rummages through the discarded of American society, serving up some of the most beautiful and inspiring writing in recent years, to have been witnessed at the theatre. The comedic commotion surrounding business owner Clyde, a woman of the bitterest constitution, and her tortured employees, offers marvellous entertainment, along with some of the most profound philosophical observations, one could hope to glean from any work of art.

That poignancy is carefully uncovered by Darren Yap, whose attentive direction of the piece ensures that the countless meaningful morsels of Notage’s script, are given opportunity to resonate.  We may not always feel fully transported, to that precise location continents away where the action is taking place, but the human authenticity Yap is able to depict, is certainly convincing.

Set design by Simone Romaniuk cleverly manipulates the stage, so that the intensity of an uncomfortable workplace is clearly represented, whilst simultaneously providing ample performance space that allows for the cast’s unbridled physical expressions.  Romaniuk’s costumes help to tell a story of class and heritage, both themes fundamental to Clyde’s concerns. Lights by Morgan Moroney are memorable for manufacturing unexpected moments of humour, and for their subtle enhancements of some of the show’s more emotional sequences. Sound and music by Max Lambert and Roger Lock are minimally rendered, although it is noteworthy that multicultural influences are appropriately, and reassuringly, acknowledged.

Actor Nancy Denis brings unambiguous exuberance to the role of Clyde, along with excellent timing, but it is only when she lets the chilling darkness of her character to emerge, that we are able to see beyond the caricature. Charles Allen as Montrellous, is interminably sensitive and remarkably moving, impressive in his capacity to imbue astounding depth to the group’s wise elder. Gabriel Alvarado is a scintillating presence as Rafael, with a captivating vigour that reveals a thoroughness in his understanding of the personality and circumstances being portrayed. Likewise with Ebony Vagulans who plays Letitia, leaving us no room to question the challenges she experiences, in an accomplished performance that embraces the complicated nature of a person’s flaws and foibles. Aaron Tsindos may not always be believable as reformed fascist Jason, but his comedic talents are truly an unimpeachable joy.

There is no denying that those who have endured the worst, are also the ones who know the most, about the human condition. In Clyde’s there is no mistaking the injustices at play, in the inequitable and downright unfair ways we have to live our lives. Yet, we are able to access resilience, and through it, form narratives of hope, that can help us see trajectories of salvation which are absolutely necessary, to daily survival and sustenance.

It is true that so much of one’s circumstances are too hard for any single being to control, but a greater truth resides with the notion, that peace and happiness is often an internal function, that the stronger of us, will always be able to reach for, even when the world appears to be falling to pieces.

Review: Expiration Date (Meraki Arts Bar)

Venue: Meraki Arts Bar (Darlinghurst NSW), Apr 27 – May 13, 2023
Playwright: Lana Filies
Lily Hayman
Cast: Lana Filies, Flynn Mapplebeck
Images by Clare Hawley

Theatre review

A man and a woman are trapped in a lift, and because they had been romantic partners not too long ago, this moment of serendipitous awkwardness imposes upon them, an occasion of confrontation that neither would have volunteered to undergo.

Lana Filies’ Expiration Date is a 50-minute two-hander containing themes that are admittedly of great concern to many of us, but presented with dialogue that is more than slightly tinged with a soap opera style parochialism, the play will perhaps not be to everyone’s tastes.

Direction for the piece is provided by Lily Hayman, who imbues an urgent energy, that insists on our undivided attention. Design work by Tyler Fitzpatrick is minimal in approach, but rendered with an impressive sense of finesse, that gives the staging precisely what it needs, for its story to be told.

Filies plays the woman in Expiration Date, excessively animated in initial scenes, but able to deliver a convincing realism when it matters. Portraying the man, is Flynn Mapplebeck who brings a contrasting effortlessness to the comedy, with a natural charisma and a quirky blitheness, that help with  the show’s entertainment value.

We are at a point of evolution where many can become our own persons, of lives commensurate with our own dreams and ambitions, without having to comply with age old notions of marital relationships. No longer do all of us have to make traditional choices in order to survive, yet there is something maybe biological, or maybe social, that seems to want to turn us into conformist creatures, that makes us pine for all that is pervasive, conventional and ordinary. Circumstances have changed for many, yet only a few will ever take the road less travelled.

Review: Mortel (KXT on Broadway)

Venue: KXT on Broadway (Ultimo NSW), Apr 25 – 29, 2023
Director: Steven Ljubović
Cast: Phoebe Atkinson, Gemma Burwell, Abbey Dimech, Giani Leon, Meg Hyeronimus, Levi Kenway, Aiden Morris, Bella Ridgway, Shannon Thomas
Images by Abraham de Souza

Theatre review
Nine beings emerge from their cocoons, flesh and bone perfectly formed, all muscles ready to fire. Mortel is a work of physical theatre that takes from dance traditions, from experimental art and from performance training, manifesting in a presentation that ranges from the obscure to the obvious, from beautiful to awkward.

Directed by Steven Ljubović, Mortel has a tendency to feel derivative, in a style that is perhaps too demanding of an artist’s capacity for originality. Whether drawing from something more distinct like Bob  Fosse’s “Rich Man’s Frug” or other elements that simply feel instinctively familiar, the staging never delivers much that is truly inventive. It is however, a show that is often captivating, with an evocative and sensual sound design by Kieran Camejo that provides a basis for our emotions to engage. Lights by Clare Sheridan are gently rendered, to best support, and flatter, the dynamic activity taking place.

Performers are dressed exquisitely by Ljubović, in shades and shapes that nod to contemporary pop culture and to the world of fashion. The cast of nine is incredibly cohesive, perfectly well-rehearsed and indefatigably focused, on what they mean to achieve as individuals and as a singular pulsatory organism. The work may not require extraordinary athleticism or technical proficiency, but their demonstration of strength and precision, along with their boundless dedication, is a joy to behold.

There is nothing that quite parallels the enthusiasm for living a good life that emerges, from the unremitting meditations on the nature and inevitability of death.

Review: Metropolis (Hayes Theatre)

Venue: Hayes Theatre Co (Potts Point NSW), Apr 21 – May 20, 2023
Book and Lyrics: Julia Robertson (based on the novel by Thea von Harbou)
Music: Zara Stanton
Director: Julia Robertson
Cast: Thomas Campbell, Tom Dawson, Sam Harmon, Selin Idris, Dominic Lui, Amanda McGregor, Tomas Parrish, AJ Pate, Joshua Robson, Anusha Thomas, Shannen Alyce Quan, Jim Williams
Images by Grant Leslie

Theatre review

Thea von Harbou’s 1925 novel Metropolis, emerged as a response to the Second Industrial Revolution, when it had become clear that modernity was likely to involve catastrophic consequences, that the powers that be, could very well ignore. In von Harbou’s story, business magnate Joh Fredersen’s ambitions knows no bounds. His efforts to exploit new technologies for unprecedented material gains, turns him blind to the devastating human and environmental costs, resulting from these twentieth century ways of organising labour. There may be a naivete associated with Metropolis, but a century on, it is clear that von Harbou’s early concerns, criticized for being overly simplistic, have now become completely substantiated, and sadly commonplace.

This musical adaptation, with book and lyrics by Julia Robertson and music by Zara Staunton, certainly preserves the uncomplicated tone of the original book (and the famous Fritz Lang film of 1927). Its songs are highly enjoyable, with unpredictable orchestrations by Staunton that evoke meaningful contrasts between notions of the natural versus the synthetic. The plot however, is rarely compelling or convincing in a show, directed by Robertson, that is perhaps excessively stylised, ironically unable to convey sufficient humanity, for its audience to invest meaningfully into any of its characters, or its moral intentions.

There are however, many instances of visual splendour, on a set by Nick Fry whose rendering of classic art deco schemes, delivers satisfying imagery commensurate with expectations derived from the cultural landmark that is Lang’s film. Fry’s work on a human-size puppet that depicts a dystopic robot, is especially impressive. Ryan McDonald’s lighting design too is pleasing to the eye, although it can seem too pre-occupied with the manufacturing of beauty, leaving some spatial configurations to look somewhat deficient. Ella Butler’s costumes depict well, the decay of modernity, but some attempts at portraying decadence, are less than adequate.

Joshua Robson plays Fredersen, and along with Shannen Alyce Quan in the role of Maria, offer some of the stronger singing, in a cast memorable for its unwavering earnestness. Tom Dawson brings stage presence to Fredersen’s honourable son Freder, but it is Thomas Campbell as the mad scientist Rotwang who is memorable with a sense of authenticity, albeit in an extravagantly fantastical realm.

Freder repeatedly urges for his father to do better, but it is hard to tell anyone to moderate their behaviour, when they see no incentive to do so; for some people, the idea of “a greater good” simply never resonates. It makes sense therefore, to resort to the language of power, that they evidently believe in above all else. This then requires that the disenfranchised find cohesion and consensus, for the only way for the huddled masses to be able to participate in the discourse of power, is for us to coalesce, in hopes of forming something threatening enough, that will force a change. When our disparities are this severe, we need to wake to the fact that any amelioration, will only come from our steely insistence, and never from the kindness of those whose hearts are determined not to be found. |

Review: Tick, Tick… Boom! (Sydney Lyric Theatre)

Venue: Sydney Lyric Theatre (Sydney NSW), Apr 20 – 26, 2023
Book: Jonathan Larson
Lyrics: Jonathan Larson
Music: Jonathan Larson
Director: Tyran Parke
Cast: Sheridan Adams, Finn Alexander, Hamish Johnston, Elenoa Rokobaro, Hugh Sheridan
Images by Jeff Busby

Theatre review

Jon’s thirtieth birthday is fast approaching, and his anxiety is on overdrive. An artist living and working in New York, his career has yet to take off, even though everyone seems to heap praise on his song writing. Tick, Tick… Boom! is a semi-autobiographical work by Jonathan Larson, first performed in 1990, just six years before his untimely death, at the very young age of 35. Larson’s greatest success finally came with the musical Rent, but he never saw the warm reception of opening night, having passed away just the day before its first preview.

Tick, Tick… Boom! was never conceived for large venues. This staging, directed by Tyran Parke, is based on an adaptation by David Auburn that expanded the work from Larson’s original solo format, and its current iteration in a 2,000 seater auditorium, demonstrates unfavourably the intimate nature of the musical. The drama never grips, and the songs rarely soar. We feel energies dissipating long before they reach us, from a stage that often looks too subdued, and too far away.

Christina Smith’s scenic design encloses the action on the centre third of the proscenium, which helps to concentrate focus, but which also restricts movement, in a way that makes the show look monotonous. Lights by Matt Scott, although adept at providing appropriate illumination, does not deliver much more than its essential functions. Musical direction by Kohan van Sambeeck, while able to imbue some intensity to the plot, is let down by sound engineering that keeps the band distant, and much of their efforts withdrawn and contained within the stage area.

Leading man Hugh Sheridan, while not lacking in verve, has a voice that is excessively raspy and strained, unable to allow his audience to connect with the songs, and therefore losing the essence and soul of his character Jon. Performer Elenoa Rokobaro is the saving grace of the production, confident and delightful in all of her roles, especially memorable in her showstopping tune, “Come to Your Senses”, taking the opportunity very late in the piece, to remind us of the magic, that theatre is capable of.

Artists do not create work in vacuums. It is fundamental to any art practice, that communication between creator and audience is a matter of consideration, but there always comes a point where one can care too much. Jon cares too much, about what people think, not only in relation to his work as a writer of songs and musicals, but also as a man struggling in a contemporary epoch, defined by envy and competition. It is a shame that we have manufactured a world, in which few artists are able to be content simply with the joy of creation, where most are made to involve themselves with an endless barrage of peripheral interferences, that fuel professional jealousy and gratuitous aspiration. Jon is good at what he loves, but it is a real shame that everywhere he seeks affirmation, seems to make him think, that he is not enough.

Review: UFO (Griffin Theatre Company)

Venue: SBW Stables Theatre (Darlinghurst NSW), Apr 18 – 29, 2023
Writer: Kirby Medway
Director: Solomon Thomas
Cast: Matt Abotomey, James Harding, Angela Johnston, Tahlee Leeson
Images by Lucy Parakhina

Theatre review

The show begins with people shooting a stop motion film, involving puppet versions of themselves, on a miniature set. Using two cameras, the results of their animation are shown live on screens, as they voice their respective characters. UFO by Kirby Medway tells a mysterious story about four characters, hired to document the moment-by-moment activities of an appropriately huge Unidentified Flying Object parked on a golf course, stationary but for lights that are constantly flashing.

Thoroughly whimsical, UFO is directed by Solomon Thomas, who infuses a gentle humour, that crescendos to a satisfying comedic peak at its penultimate moments. There is undeniable creativity at play, admirable for the artists’ imaginativeness, and their unwavering commitment to idiosyncrasy.

Set design by Angus Callander is a charming manifestation of the productions’ dual needs, both theatrical and filmic, that allows for the staging’s refreshing imagery. Tom Hogan’s dramatic sound design is exceptionally enjoyable, full of tension, yet fascinatingly kitsch in its rendering of this sci-fi microcosm. Performers Matt Abotomey, James Harding, Angela Johnston and Tahlee Leeson are marvellously precise, and splendid with their timing, in a presentation that never fails to pique curiosity.

In the modern age, we seem always to be on the precipice of of technological advancements, that threaten to annihilate, and move us further into dystopia. UFO expresses this perennial anxiety, but demonstrates the wondrous joy that technology can and does deliver. Humanity and technology are much closer in essence than we care to acknowledge, maybe because we know too well, the resolutely destructive tendencies of our nature. |

Review: New Balance (Old Fitz Theatre)

Venue: Old Fitzroy Theatre (Woolloomooloo NSW), Apr 19 – 23, 2023
Creators: Christopher Bryant, Emma Palackic
Cast: Christopher Bryant
Images by Robert Catto

Theatre review
In the one-person show New Balance, Christopher Bryant declares himself queer and disabled, wearing those labels like one would badges of honour, when returning from fighting for causes of immense consequence. In polite society, those labels of identification are of course discouraged from prominent enunciation, because the cis-white-straight-ableist hegemony would always prefer to deny, that their prejudices are in fact fundamental, to how each of our lives is structured. They want us to subscribe to the convenient notion that all people are the same, in order that so many of the injustices they steadfastly establish and perpetuate, are allowed to operate in stealth.

Their gaslighting, and our cultural delusion, is addressed by New Balance, a brilliantly engrossing 60-minute show created by Bryant and Emma Palackic, to firmly renounce that collective refusal to acknowledge the gremlins in our system, put in place to privilege the few, but that are perversely upheld by the masses. The show asserts otherness from a location that is both queer and disabled, two conceptions of experiences that seem at face value, to be distinct and separate, but through the articulation of a performer who inhabits both identities simultaneously, it becomes clear that the politics of otherness, only ever functions one way. The narrative of routine ostracism, and of persistent exclusion, is powerfully represented by Bryant’s unvarnished performance style, devoid of pretension and of formalist technique, existing only in the space of theatre, to speak intimately and persuasively from human to human.

Bryant and Palackic’s text, which includes first-person contributions from Jamila Main, Rebekah Robertson, Anthony Severino and Jacqueline Tooley, is a deeply evocative expression of life on the outside. Video projections by Justin Gardam, along with sound recordings of confessional voices, offer meaningful enhancement to all the sensitive divulgements, that are surprising yet familiar, in their honest encapsulation of a diverse humanity. Lighting design by Chris Milburn add sensuality to proceedings, to make us feel a certain palpable corporeality, that keeps these thoughts being so staunchly shared on stage, to link resolutely to our own bodies.

New Balance seeks to dismantle that which has long been instituted as pristine, and reconstitutes that which is deemed immaculate, to refute the many exclusionary tendencies of how we organise our lives. It reminds us fervently, that much as we experience challenges differently, our humanity can only ever be uniformly perfect.

Review: Julia (Sydney Theatre Company)

Venue: Sydney Opera House (Sydney NSW), Mar 31 – May 20, 2023
Playwright: Joanna Murray-Smith
Director: Sarah Goodes
Cast: Jessica Bentley, Justine Clarke
Images by Prudence Upton

Theatre review
We know that Julia Gillard, our 27th Prime Minister, is made of some truly formidable stuff, simply for being the first woman to attain that coveted position. In Joanna Murray-Smith’s play simply named Julia, evidence of all her incredible grit and gumption, is consolidated into a 90-minute piece, telling a story not only of Gillard’s virtues, but also of the immense culture of sexism and misogyny, so fundamentally entrenched in Australian life. Holding office from 2010 to 2013, Gillard’s experiences as the most high-profile woman on these lands, meant that she had to navigate some of the worst abuse ever witnessed in the public sphere, at a time even more hostile to female leaders than today,  before the prior to the 2016 watershed #MeToo movement.

Murray-Smith’s writing is undeniably powerful, valuable both as documentation of a deeply significant moment of our history, and as a feminist work that proves enormously inspiring. Julia can at times feel excessively deferential, and can be charged with having minimised Gillard’s weaknesses and faults (in particular, her handling of issues pertaining to asylum seekers and to marriage equality), but its theatricality, structured around the celebration of a genuinely consequential personality, is one of rare exaltation.

The show is directed by Sarah Goodes, whose judicious sensitivity ensures that we see beyond the personal achievements of a remarkable woman, to consider the wider meanings of Gillard’s prominence. Goodes makes us think about the contexts of the ex-PM’s relentless mistreatment, along with the trails she had blazed, so that Julia becomes more than a tribute to one. 

Set design by Renée Mulder features mirrored surfaces that remind us of the infinitely far-reaching effects of Gillard’s accomplishments. Lights by Alexander Berlage are gently rendered to keep unwavering focus on the protagonist. Video projections by Susie Henderson offer elegant augmentation, to the simple imagery being presented. Music and sound by Steve Francis, enhance the gravitas being explored, in the feminist themes that are so intrinsic to how we understand the story of Julia.

Actor Justine Clarke is electric as our national hero, exceedingly precise with her delivery of every line, and resolutely present, in every moment of her compelling embodiment of this much-loved character. Vigorously poignant, yet dazzlingly splendid with her humour, Clarke’s is a faultless performance on technical levels, but more importantly, a marvellously enchanting creation, that reminds us of what it means to lead with morality and integrity.

Jessica Bentley plays a subsidiary role, as a person of few words, but nonetheless omnipresent as a woman of lower status, to whom Gillard’s efforts are dedicated, and without whom Gillard was unable to rise. This incorporation of a secondary personality,  one performed by a person of colour reveals quite importantly, an awareness around issues of racism in representations of Gillard’s legacy. Narratives of this nature frequently fall into traps of “white feminism”, and whilst this theatrical device is clearly well intentioned, there is a persistent discomfort in witnessing Bentley occupying various positions of silent servitude, all through the production.

It was certainly a momentous occasion when Gillard demonstrated that women too, are capable of ascending to the very pinnacle of positions. Whether or not it was a revolutionary event, is however debatable. If we concede that Gillard was an exception to the rule, we admit that little has changed, in the systems that we allow to run the world. On the other hand, to say that Gillard has not left behind permanent improvements, is manifestly inaccurate. Relying on any singular effort to change the world, is naïve and absurd. Heroes are gratifying as objects of admiration, but their greater purpose is to spur bigger numbers into action, when they have shown without ambiguity, what can be done when we believe in the good of our species. |

Review: Fences (Sydney Theatre Company)

Venue: Wharf 1 Sydney Theatre Company (Walsh Bay NSW), Mar 25 – May 6, 2023
Playwright: August Wilson
Director: Shari Sebbens
Cast: Bert LaBonté, Markus Hamilton, Damon Manns, Molly Moriarty, Zahra Newman, Dorian Nkono, Darius Williams
Images by Daniel Boud

Theatre review

In 1950s Pittsburgh USA, Troy and Rose try their level best at making a life for themselves and their children. Harsh conditions as evidenced most concretely in discriminatory Jim Crow laws of the time however, means that the couple’s dreams were always going to be dashed, no matter their effort. August Wilson’s Fences deals with the effects of racial subjugation, from the microcosmic perspective of a single family unit, and its inevitable disintegration. As with all great tragedies, we find ourselves rooting for characters, but also simultaneously anticipating their demise. In Fences, we understand that it is not the playwright’s manipulations that prevent the Maxsons from thriving, but the very realities of racism and its accompanying systemic reverberations, that have kept generations of African-Americans from fulfilling their greatest potential.

Powerfully directed by Shari Sebbens, the production speaks pointedly on both the intimate and the broader social contexts, of the Maxson family’s story. The drama works poignantly whether one is concerned with the personal aspects of Fences, or the implications on community, of a far-reaching story like this. Sebbens’ work feels beautifully organic, yet its intricacies are honed with great detail, resulting in a meticulously rendered presentation that always sings naturally and connects profoundly.

Set design by Jeremy Allen transports us somewhere thoroughly believable. Even though the Maxsons’ front yard from 70 years ago only exists in our imagination, what our eyes encounter is something that seems replete with verisimilitude, as are Allen’s costumes, similarly accurate in their depictions of Black life in mid-century Pennsylvania. Verity Hampson’s lights are conservatively, but thoughtfully, calibrated to engender an intense sentimentality, for a play that requires of us, emotional as well as intellectual investment. Sensual and soulful music by Brendon Boney draws from American Blues traditions, so that our sensibilities remain firmly in that historic time and place, one comprising the complex embroilment of bittersweet nostalgia and despicable oppression.

Actor Bert LaBonté delivers sensationally as Troy, with unremitting authenticity and disarming passion. He is heartbreaking yet reprehensible, sympathetic yet frustrating, in his noble portrayals of emasculation and righteous indignation. Zahra Newman brings great vigour to her interpretation of Rose, allowing the feminine half of the Fences story to make an almost comparable impact. Highly engaging is Darius Williams as son Cory, impressively nuanced and exquisitely tender, in a devastating narrative of circular histories. Markus Hamilton too, has us captivated as the mirthful Bono, with perfect timing and an extraordinary presence. Other cast members are Damon Manns, Molly Moriarty and Dorian Nkono, each one more charming than the other, in a show full of persuasive and likeable personalities.

Troy is fixated on his shattered hopes of becoming a professional baseball player of great renown. It is true that no person’s life can be guaranteed happiness ever after, based on the reversal of a singular precedent circumstance. It is also true however, that if racism is not the annihilating force pervasive in so many of our lives, Troy would have achieved not only his heart’s desire, but also a significantly improved existence overall, for himself and for his loved ones. Like Troy, many of us are conditioned to think more about personal failures, than to figure out ways to dismantle those harmful systems, within which all have to operate. Despondency is understandable, but those energies can be turned outwards, negative as they may be, to forge new paths that could bend the arc of history.

Review: Cherry Smoke (KXT on Broadway)

Venue: KXT on Broadway (Ultimo NSW), Mar 24 – Apr 8, 2023
Playwright: James McManus
Charlie Vaux
Cast: Alice Birbara, Fraser Crane, Tom Dawson, Meg Hyeronimus
Images by Abraham de Souza

Theatre review
The story takes place somewhere in a godforsaken redneck part of the United States, where girls kiss delinquents and dream of birthing babies, and boys fight each other to prove their manhood. As we see in James McManus’ Cherry Smoke, there is not much one can aspire to, when caught in a cycle of poverty. Even the imagination is restricted, and people can only follow in the footsteps of parents, whose lives have proven completely unworthy of replication.

Directed by Charlie Vaux, the pessimistic story is given a surprising tenderness, with perhaps a deficiency in portrayals of brutality and grittiness, that makes the experience feel insufficiently poignant. Lights by Jasmin Borsovszky are commensurately soft in approach, visually appealing but overly romantic with its renderings of despondency. Soham Apte’s set design offers simple solutions to help facilitate entrances and exits with minimal friction. Sounds by Johnny Yang are a highlight,  working marvellously to alter atmosphere, and to manufacture moments of dramatic tension.

Actor Meg Hyeronimus plays the love-struck Cherry, as a sassy yet stern young woman,  whilst the object of her desire Fish is performed by Tom Dawson, who depicts the boxer with imprudence and a devastating recklessness. Both demonstrate good focus, along with attention to detail, for a challenging piece about a space that seems so far removed, from most of our present realities. Alice Birbara and Fraser Crane, too are diligent with their parts as Bug and Duffy respectively, bringing intensity to the production at key junctures.

The veracity of socio-economic problems being explored in Cherry Smoke, is beyond doubt. Evidence of people falling through the cracks is extensive, should we choose to pay attention. It is meaningless to say that we want these problems to go away, unless we can admit that it is a matter of wealth redistribution that needs to take place, and that some simply have to give up their power and riches, in order that many more can be released from their torment. The disadvantaged should also find ways to divert violence away from themselves, and exert that force instead, on those who are more deserving of pressure and disruption.