Composer Alies Sluter

Theatre Review: Eye Music

The uplifting but confronting story of profoundly disabled Jeremy Hartgen, whose sole means of communication is through his eyes.



Composer Alies Sluter
Composer Alies Sluter

Presented by Tutti Arts
Reviewed 29 May 2014

I really had no idea what to expect from this production. I have had some contact with disability, but like most people I really don’t give it a lot of thought unless it is right in front of me. This story was Jeremy Hartgen’s story (Jem) and it is confronting. The play used a disabled actor, Anton Sagrillo, to portray Jem and through that it carried so much more weight.

All of the performers did a great job, and it did not matter one jot who was disabled and who were not. They played the people in Jem’s life with sincerity. Experienced actor Jacqy Phillips wss Sylvia, the ‘mother figure’ in Jem’s world and she managed to connect with this complex character who had such an influence on his life. His friends Possum and Wendy were played by Brenton John Shaw and Kathryn Hall; and his brother Joel and sister Jackie were played by Roy Stewart and Tamara Lee. All had their own sad tales that touched Jem’s life and tugged at our heartstrings.

Despite the subject matter, this was an uplifting piece with some fine music provided by composer and piano player Alies Sluter, Cliff Stoddart (guitars) and Tom Leach (bass). It also contained some evocative film snippets produced under Director of Photography Nic Mollison. Edwin Kemp Atrill, who managed to tell this tale with no trace of mawkishness, directed the whole production, doing justice to writer, Pat Rix.  An evening spent having my eyes opened.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @Franeds

Venue: State Opera Studio
Season: This season has now ended.


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