Monday, 9 October 2000

Can't Stand Up for Falling Down

By Richard Cameron
at The Storeroom October 9 to 22, 2000
Bookings:  9658 9600
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Can't Stand Up For Falling Down is a play about three young women and their relationship to an abusive man in an English village. It is an insightful series of monologues about women written by a man.

Richard Cameron's writing is impassioned, moving and an accurate representation of these women's experiences with men.

Lynette (Sharyn Oppy) is the victim of her husband, Royce's domestic violence and drunkenness. Royce is a conceited rake and an emotional and physical thug.

Seven years earlier, he go Ruby (Bernadette Schwerdt) pregnant when she was 18 years old. He refused to admit paternity and she raised her boy, Carl, alone.

Jodie (Pamela Talty) is a hairdresser who does Lynette's hair. Years earlier, she befriended a disabled boy who was killed by Royce and his mates. Jodie eventually is the person who finds Lynette beaten and distraught in her husband's fishing tackle shop.

The outcome of Royce's violence is his death and the three women, by chance, come together to cover up Lynette's crime.

The play is written as three separate monologues. The actors inhabit their own locations within the empty space. Their realities finally collide in the last minutes.

Tara Power's direction is brisk, smart and simple. The ensemble is excellent. Oppy tackles with great skill the most challenging role of  the abused and fragile Lynette. She is a delicate victim with great emotional depth and power.

Schwerdt combines forthright independence with a neediness in Ruby, the single mother who has a history of unsatisfactory relationships with men.
Talty finds a sweet confusion and naivete in Jodie which gives her a compassionate character.

This is a fine production of a dramatic play with vivid and detailed characters.

By Kate Herbert

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