La Boheme, 36 Grote Street
Reviewed Thursday March 4th 2010 (See Fringe guide for dates, times, etc.)
Presented by five.point.one.
Bookings: Fringetix & Venuetix outlets
This production consists of two short plays by Melbourne playwright Anna Barnes, opening with A Small Death, followed by In Remembrance, with the same cast in each play. In the first play, Ashton Malcolm announces that her mobile telephone has died then tells of being crushed against the barrier by crowds of commuters when the train is delayed. Three others, Bianca Kostic-London, Kate Roxby and Lydia Nicholson, sit to the side discussing a girl who has leapt to her death from a building. In the second play Kate Roxby is Siobhan, known as Mary, who is travelling to escape the memories of her past, but they catch up with her. The other three performers play aspects of Mary, as well as portraying other people on the tour, with Ashton Malcolm silently playing out Mary’s emotional journey.
Skilfully directed by Delia Olam to bring out the subtext, these two plays carry a considerable impact in the intimate confines of this venue. Simple, unobtrusive set designs by Alice Lindstrom become a part of the performance in the second play, as chairs are moved around to define locations.
It is the performances of the four talented members of the cast, however, that binds these plays, with each contributing fine individual performances and, simultaneously, creating a strong ensemble production. These two miniatures share some common themes, yet are very different in their approach to engaging the audience. Through the richness and dynamism of the characterisations created by these four performers some strong criticisms are made of modern society. Add this one to your list.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, GLAM Adelaide Arts Editor.