Local playwright Clare Hennessy

Talented young Australian playwright Clare Hennessy’s two hander TONGUE TIED had a brief run at the Old Fitz as part of Redline Productions New Fitz program.

Contessa Truffione plays highly driven and very attractive reporter, Mia. She is tasked with the job of reporting on a sex scandal (assault) which has taken place inside a small corporation – the Sunday Juice factory.Mia turns up at the factory intending to question the alleged perpetrator Jonathon. The boss is nowhere to be seen and in his place is one of his underlings, the suave, sophisticated Parker, played with appropriate glibness by Gary Clementson.

Parker puts fences around Mia’s questions, and Mia walks away without anything to run with. Perhaps she is something of a masochist because the play sees her keeping on going back to the factory, to be continually stonewalled by Parker.

We see a dynamic unfolding – Mia continuing to press to get something out of Parker, whilst Parker is getting something of a kick out of the prevailing tension as well as enjoying a flirtation.

Things unexpectedly come to a head when Mia gets up out of her chair and kisses him. She has never broken ‘this boundary’ in her professional career before…Parker doesn’t quite know how to handle the unexpected intimacy, he was just having a bit of fun. It throws him, and he drop his guard a little.. 

Hennessey’s play presently runs just forty minutes. It was an intriguing drama exploring a not so uncommon situation, when professional and  personal worlds blur. My feeling was that her piece could be improved by being a little less linear and more layered. 

The direction by Jessica Arthur and performances by Truffione and Clementson were good.

Hennessey’s dialogue moved along smartly. Not sure what Parker was talking about when he said to Mia, ‘Did you know that fruit plants have sexual organs. When you are drinking fruit juice you are drinking fruit genitalia?!’What, in  fact were they making at the Sunday Juice factory?!

Claire Hennessey’s TONGUE TIED played the Old Fitz theatre for a brief season between the 27th June and 8th July, 2017.