Friday, 15 March 2002
Four Small Deaths, March 15, 2002
By Stephen Davis
Corrugated TheatreChapel off Chapel, March 15 to 24, 2002
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Four unrelated monologues featuring four or more deaths comprise Stephen Davis's script, Four Small Deaths, directed by Tom Gutteridge.
The four pieces are entertaining. However, they are quirky but not ground breaking, funny but not sophisticated. They have limited dramatic narrative development, characters remain unchanged by what happens and there is no sub-text.
Davis's writing lacks depth and subtlety. Gutteridge cleverly chooses to keep staging and design to a minimum but the ends of scenes need to be clearer. The pieces bleed into each other, undercutting their endings.
Two actors, Julie Eckersley and Eddy Segal perform the lead in two scenes each.
Eckersley is engaging and energetic in both roles and shows a comic talent in number four.
Segal gives a good line in the pathological but the performance lacks detail and is vocally restricted throughout the show.
In the first, Segal is Timothy, a twitchy, neurotic and violent young man who is being questioned by the police about the bloody death of his girlfriend and of a stranger.
The scene moves from his description of the interrogation to his ruminations on his past actions, meeting his girlfriend, falling in love, rouging up a kid on the football field. He is clearly unstable, even pathological.
Number two sees Eckersley as a psychotic serial killer who invades a man's home and ties him to a chair so she can taunt, torture then murder him gruesomely. Eckersley is not quite believable in the role but makes a good show of it.
In three Segal, as the clearly disturbed Simon, prowls around his room waiting for the sleeping (or is she dead?) girl he picked up last night to wake.
We hear about his hatred for his mother, his tattoos, his piercings and his desire to suicide.
The last is a peculiar parody of Grace, a teenager, pitching her movie script. Eckersley plays Grace and all the wacko characters in her slasher movie, Killer Bunnies. This is really a sketch rather than a short play. Twenty minutes was too long.
By Kate Herbert