Wednesday, 28 September 2011

So Blue, So Calm, Mutation Theatre, Sep 27, 2011

So Blue, So Calm ** 1/2
 By Patrick McCarthy, Mutation Theatre
Traveller Bookshop, 294 Smith St. Collingwood, Sep 27 until Oct 8, 2011

 So Blue, So Calm is a slow, unembellished and gentle chat between two friends who quietly share everyday thoughts, stories and fears.

This piece, written and directed by Patrick McCarthy, intentionally avoids peak dramatic moments, conventional narrative structure or dramatic arc.

Although it is anti-theatrical in its simplicity and conscious avoidance of obvious theatricality, McCarthy employs devices such as design and lighting to overlay the ordinary life with a sense of artifice.

James (James Tresise) and Matt (Matthew Epps), who developed the work with the writer, play versions of themselves, but their performances lack polish, even within this intentionally unpolished, realistic style.

The pair sits on canvas chairs beside a wading pool, set on artificial turf and surrounded by a limpid, blue sky dotted with clouds.

They stop, gaze and pause, waiting for the next story, memory or song, accepting the silences and comfort of their friendship. Although they pine for lovers, neither notices that this relationship is closest to love.

The style, one can’t help noting, is almost a replica of Holiday, the award-winning two-hander by Ranters’ Theatre, so this piece does not feel original in its still observations of ordinary moments between two men.

Star rating: ** 1/2

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