Tuesday, 18 January 2005

Falling So Slowly by Steve Willis, Jan 18, 2005

 Falling So Slowly  by Steve Willis  
  Fly-on-the-Wall Theatre 
2005 Midsumma Festival

 Randall Theatre, St Martins Lane, South Yarra, Jan 18 to until February 5, 2005

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Award-winning American playwright, Steve Willis, began his play, Falling So Slowly, on a snowy, winter's day. Snow falling gently outside a New York apartment plays a role in his play.

Two young men meet in a bar and go home together for a night of what they expect to be just a wild, anonymous one-night stand. What surprises them is that it develops into a more intimate experience that might evolve into a relationship.

Grant (Brian Davison) is a well-dressed, 31-year-old African-American musician and college drop out, struggling with part-time jobs. He comes from a family of classical music lovers and enjoys Chopin.

Bobby (Christopher Pender) is almost Grant's opposite. He is nineteen, white, uneducated, from Alabama in the Deep South, victim of child sexual abuse and evicted from home by his mother.

The surprise is that Bobby, despite his small town background, seems affluent, living in a slick and expensive apartment in New York City. (designed by Stacy Gardoll) Clearly, there are secrets in Bobby's life and work.

We suspect immediately, as does Grant, that Bobby is a hustler, a boy prostitute but we discover he does gay pornography movies.

Although Grant tries to leave Bobby's apartment in the early hours after their sexual antics, he is compelled to stay and know the boy better. Obviously, these two want more form each other than just sex.

The pair spend most of the night talking, although there is another explicit sex scene before dawn.

Willis's characters are credible but the dialogue is sometimes repetitive and expository.

The falling snow seems a metaphor for their slow dance of intimacy but the metaphor is not fully integrated.

Pender is believable as the naïve and needy Bobby. Davison brings a lively energetic presence to the stage although his vocal quality is sometimes repetitive.

Director, Robert Chuter, keeps the pace rapid and scene changes unobtrusive.

The production might benefit form some silence and space between the dialogue to allow us to witness the impact of the meeting upon the pair and to see their inner worlds.

By Kate Herbert

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