Friday, 2 May 2014

SEETHrough, May 2, 2014 **

SEETHrough by Sean Jorvn
Illbijerri Theatre & Malthouse Helium season & Next Wave Festival
Tower Theatre, Malthouse, May 2 to 11, 2014  
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: **

Review also published in Herald Sun online on Monday 5 May. KH
 Gavin Walters & Colin Kinchela 

The core idea of an intimate friendship between a young, indigenous man and his Anglo-Australian friend has dramatic potential, but unfortunately SEETHrough does not illuminate this issue effectively.

The pair, it seems, grew up together, but now the Anglo man (Gavin Walters) wants to leave their mutual homeland to go to the city so his indigenous friend (Colin Kinchela) feels betrayed, angry and fearful.

Kinchela and Walters’ intentions are commendable – to create work about their respective Gomeroi and Anglo-Australian cultures ­– but their acting is limited, unconvincing and lacking technique, while their dialogue is emotionally disconnected from the text.

The rather portentous style of delivery is annoyingly pretentious and makes the dialogue cryptic.

The scenes shift backward and forward in time, moving from their childhood to adolescence and into adulthood, but the scenes are intentionally and frustratingly indistinct, bleeding into each other in a confusing use of what could otherwise be an effective theatrical device.

The script (Kinchela and Walters) is overwrought and over-written, with two long monologues that do not fit with the previous style of slow moving dialogue and rely on impenetrable, metaphorical language and some indulgent self-absorption.

The two men engage in mock fighting that has an edge of homo-eroticism, then one threatens the other with a cutthroat razor, leading to the revelation of scars, challenges, threats and a blood oath.

There is an opportunity at this point to elaborate on the idea of such blood oaths between men, but this is not clearly expounded in the dialogue or the relationship; rather it seems to be used purely for shock value.

These disturbing scenes highlight male violence rather than demonstrating friendship, courage or intimacy and the space feels dangerous, not theatrically, but because one actor wields a cutthroat razor for the duration.

The director (Isaac Drandic) slows down some of the dialogue ineffectively and relies on the actors and text to make the show interesting, but neither has the quality to create good theatre.

Fortunately, SEETHrough is only 40 minutes, because any longer would be too long.
 By Kate Herbert

Colin Kinchela Co-Devisor, Performer
Gavin Walters Co-Devisor, Performer
Isaac Drandic Director
Jacqui MillsVideo artist
Chris Yates and Corey Webster Original Music
Andrea James and Björn Stewart Dramaturge
Tom Willis Lighting Design
David Haidon Stage Manager

SEETHrough is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW. Its development was supported by Performance Space’s 2012 and 2013 Development and Presentation Program and Urban Theatre Projects’ _SPACE Residency Program.

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