Venue: King Street Theatre (Newtown NSW), Jul 18 – Aug 5, 2017
Playwright: Melvyn Morrow
Director: Elaine Hudson
Cast: Taylor Owynns, Joseph JU Taylor
A property developer and a nun may seem an unlikely pairing, but because they meet in Sydney, it makes sense that both are in the real estate market, trying to take advantage of one another. Melvyn Morrow’s Acts Of Faith is a response to this city’s obsession with property prices, and our unabashed pursuit of preposterous inflation and personal gain.
The play features a string of deceptions by untrustworthy types, determined to make the most of a system that feeds the rich and greedy. It reflects our increasing emphasis on money, as a society that has moved away from defining characteristics of mateship and the fair-go, to what is today a guiltless infatuation with materialism. Even a mother superior has to participate in this gluttony for her narrative to materialise on the twenty-first century stage.
Dialogue in the show takes on a very formal tone that can seem old-fashioned, but undeniably suited to the archaic institutions being represented. Director Elaine Hudson ensures that actors approach their parts with impeccable logic, and that they deliver their lines with an enjoyable sense of rhythm and buoyancy. Although we are kept engaged in every scene, the comedy could benefit from a greater sense of flamboyance in delivery. Taylor Owynns and Joseph JU Taylor bring their warm presences to the story, both impressive with the precision and conviction that they put on display.
In a world that insists on everything being monetised, the modern economy is brutal with how it dictates the way we live, and how our personal choices must conform to its principles of profit maximisation. Religious organisations too are participants in this race for money and power, yet they hide behind disguises that appear celestial and traditional, to gain an upper hand in a system that allows them to benefit exclusively, from donations, tax breaks and the like. Numbers do not lie, but they can only work their magic when applied with diligence and fairness.