Presented by Brink Productions
Reviewed Tuesday 31st August 2010
Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 7:30pm nightly to Sat 11th September, except Sunday 5th, 2:30pm Saturday matinees
Tickets: adult $54/conc $48/student $32
Bookings: BASS 131 241 or http://www.bass.net.au
Brink’s world premiere of Sydney writer, Matthew Whittet’s, latest play got off to a fine start, with director, Chris Drummond’s, usual firm hand, clear vision and attention to detail in evidence. A stark set design by Wendy Todd with suitably atmospheric lighting by David Gadsden, music by Stuart Day, Larissa McGowan’s movement plot and sound from Mick Jackson, all add to the sinister feel of this piece. Even the crew play an important on-stage role.
It begins as a black comedy, with Chris discovering Maddy lying on the ground, bleeding heavily from a wound on the side of her neck. Normally he is uncomfortable around women but here is a maiden in distress and he is the only one there to help her. This unlikely knight in dingy armour goes to her aid, little knowing what is to follow.
Billed as a three-hander, most of the play concerns these two, with the third character unseen but his presence strongly felt, until they finally confront her attacker towards the end of the play, at which point things get darker and the comedy lessens. When Maddy’s wound reopens and blood pours everywhere Chris asks “is this a metaphor?” Yes, it is, but for that you need to attend the performance and see Maddy confront John, her attacker. This play is full of surprises and the Vampire themes conceal much more frightening and sinister things.
Nathan O’Keefe and Yael Stone play the ill-matched couple, racing to find a resolution before the approaching dawn. O’Keefe has a good feel for comedy, but is also capable of creating suspense and generating a wide range of emotions, and Stone proved to be an excellent choice for the strong-willed and determined Maddy. The interaction between these two was superb and the everyday language of the script somehow makes the fact that they are dealing with elements of the supernatural, quite believable. Alex Menglet brought another element to the work in the later sections, his excellent performance beginning with a quiet menace that slowly grew to full blown anger.
This was a well-written, well-directed and well-acted piece and represents another big hit for this company. Hurry to get a ticket if you still can.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor Glam Adelaide.