Presented by State Theatre Company – Umbrella
Reviewed 14th September 2016
This extremely well written play by Tom Holloway explores the separateness of the individual, even when we are “together”. Both poignant and revealing, the overlapping monologues of these three characters delve the inner thoughts and fears and are almost uncomfortably close to home.
Director Sarah Dunn has orchestrated her talented cast well, each keeping to their personal space, moving to and fro around the inconspicuous dining chairs which are the major set pieces. The occasional music written by Belinda Gehlert adds to the atmosphere, as does the sparseness of Michelle Maddog Delaney’s set, which is neither inside nor out.
Stephen Sheehan, the man, gives his usual sterling performance as the affable father who hides his depression and insecurity behind a mask of joviality. So strong is the mask he hides his darker tendencies even from himself. He is likeable in his unassuming despair.
As the woman, Julie Wood, is quiet in her desperation, hiding her needs in alcoholism. Needing recognition from her husband, which she doesn’t recognise when it comes. Her performance dovetails beautifully with the other two players, never over running even when speaking at the same time. Wood has the required depth for this character and gives us a strong portrait.
Rachel Burke gave a fine performance as the girl. Obviously affected by her parents’ problems and dealing with disappointment and depression of her own, she fixates on her teacher and the soap opera romance of Home and Away. Burke managed to convey fragility and a haunting naiveté. The trio were together and yet apart.
This is a truly unusual and strong piece of theatre. The themes it explores are dealt with in a sensitive way with occasional light-heartedness which makes it easier to watch. However, it does leave you with a lasting impression of the intricate nature of human interaction and how fine a line we sometimes walk.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre
Season: 9 – 30 September 2016
Tickets: Adult $35, Conc $30, Under 30’s $20 not suitable for under 18yo