Monday, 20 August 2007

Crying Out Loud: VCA Directors’ Season 1, Aug 20, 2007

Crying Out Loud: VCA Directors’ Season 1
Smashed by Lally Katz
Between Today & Tomorrow by Daniel Keene
La Musica by Marguerite Duras
Space 28, VCA School of Drama
Season 1- Aug 18 to 22, Season 2 - Sept 5 to 8, 2007
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Aug 20, 2007

The final works of Post-Graduate Directors from the School of Drama, Victorian College of the Arts feature in two seasons of short plays. Season One comprises three diverse productions.

Andrew Gray creates a jewel with La Musica by Marguerite Duras. On the day of their divorce, Anne-Marie (Edwina Wren) and her ex-husband Michel (Anthony Ahern) meet late at night in a familiar hotel in the town where they lived. The sexual tension in this relationship is palpable. The couple, both now in happier, stable relationships, are uncomfortable and irritated in each other’s presence but cannot part. As they relive precious and unpleasant moments from their marriage their bond strengthens and the pain of parting becomes unbearable.

The piece has a marvellous balance of grace and awkwardness, passion and reserve, dignity and anger. The gloriously elegant design (Naomi Wong) of a charcoal and burgundy French salon provides the perfect stylish world for these tortured lovers.

Adena Jacobs directs Smashed by Lally Katz. Jacobs focuses on the other-worldliness of the play, creating a dimly lit, ominous landscape that reflects the fragmented structure of memory and an expansive universe. Two teenagers, Hazel (Miriam Glaser) and Ruby (Amanda Falson), grapple with a recent catastrophic shared experience by reliving moments leading up to the horror.

The fear and uncertainty of these dislocated teenagers is effectively created in their frenzy of playful activity. The confusion of early scenes resolves when we witness the accident that changed their lives.

Suze Smith directs Between Today & Tomorrow by Daniel Keene.  In this intimate play about a fractured family, we again see the dream world intersect with the real. Claire (Emily Taylor) moves into a shabby boarding house with her daughter Julie (Caitlin Murphy) to escape the cruelty of her husband (Simon King).

While Claire is depressed but relieved about their departure, Julie pines and conjures up visions of her father when Claire is asleep or absent. The disconsolate atmosphere is pervasive although it sometimes interrupts the dramatic tension.

Season Two comprises Riders to The Sea by J. M. Synge and Woyzeck by Georg Buchner and opens on September 5.
By Kate Herbert

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