Saturday, 12 November 2011

October by Ian Wilding, Nov 11, 2011 **

October, by Ian Wilding 
By Act-O-Matic 3000
Mechanics’ Institute Performing Arts Centre, Brunswick, until Nov 26, 2011
Reviewed by: Kate Herbert on November 11, 2011
Published in Herald Sun on Nov 22, 2011
Dan Walls & David Passmore in OCtober by Ian Wilding, by Act-O-Matic

Australian playwright, Ian Wilding, writes bleak, gritty and intense plays for small casts, but October is not the best example of his work.

Angela (Cathy Kohlen), an interior designer, and her husband, Tim (Ron Kofler), a pilot, live a comfortable, privileged life in their designer home until Dez (David Passmore) arrives in their living room claiming to be Angela’s lover.

Although we do not see it on stage, Dez stalks the couple relentlessly until Tim and Angela’s lives come unstuck and they call in Dick (Dan Walls), a sleazy, private detective who is a cure worse than the malady.

Wayne Pearn’s production explores some of the Pinteresque tension, menace and bloody violence inherent in Wilding’s black comedy, but there is an uneasy balance between the comedy and dark drama and the pace is uneven.

Wilding writes the characters as two-dimensional ciphers, but the actors look uncomfortable in their roles and in the style, not quite connecting with the repetitive, clipped and abstracted dialogue.

There is some broad, clownish comedy from Walls as Dick, the vile, intrusive and disreputable detective who wears ridiculously cheap and obvious wigs and fake beards.

This production craves a greater dynamic, dramatic range and emotional arc to push the boundaries, to go further out of control and make the stage more dangerous and the characters’ predicament more believably outrageous.

Mechanics’ Institute Performing Arts Centre, Brunswick, until Nov 26, 2011

Director: Wayne Pearn
Cast: Dan Walls, Cathy Kohlen, Ron Kofler, David PAssmore
Lighting & Sound Lindon Blakely
Stage manager: Julie-Ann Donnellan
Set desing: Carmel Iudica
Lighting Design: Douglas Scott Montgomery

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