THE MATILDA WALTZ, written by Deborah Mulhall, spans 100 years of Australian history through the eyes of five generations of Australian women, each the daughter of the woman before.
The play begins in Sydney in 1894 where we meet siblings Vera and Ida Templeton, their lawyer Mr Andrew (Banjo) Paterson and the charming Horrie. From here we follow the Templeton family tree through the First and Second World Wars and onto Vietnam. Sydney, Queensland & outback NSW also feature with clever locations changes made with the turn of a street sign or the addition of a piece of rope or bed linen. Continue reading The Matilda Waltz→
This world premiere serves up a mighty tranche de vie which is colourful yet concise. This hectic relationships drama is also easily identifiable as being set in Sydney. Robert Allan’s work explores the ramifications of wrongly healed damage in our lives and the chain reactions it will start.
A clever script blend of conversation and poetry, effective triptych-like set and collective command of theatrical devices protect the piece’s two relationship fables from ever slipping into soap opera status.
Delayed exposition and half-mysteries set the two pairs of characters and crowd on a roller coaster race between hope and hurt. The savage climaxes surrounding the intersection of the stories glow with a rainbow of non-cliché outcomes, including the very uncomfortable and controversial.
The fine cast is finely directed, with all actors emerging as talented survivors of the play’s parallel storytelling. The two contrasting situations of domestic stress are imbued at times with engagingly current comic moments.
Forced hope from worlds expertly evoked on each side of the stage blend only in the play’s final moments. Mismanaged suffering at its breaking point also fuels explosive results, well performed by the ensemble.
Special mention goes to Carla Nirella’s direct and interactive monologues throughout as the struggling girlfriend Fiona. These candid moments are exquisitely engaging and well layered.
Also skilfully bitter-sweet in its execution is Cherilyn Price’s portrayal without costume change of her character, Aggie. She is equally penetrating and measured depicting a fourteen year old child-prodigy victim as she is an adult dealing with multiple tragedies.
This substantial two-act play’s yo-yo focus with overlapping entries and exits suffers no risk of being difficult to follow at length. The material tempts the audience rather than tiring it.
Become a social juror at this intimate city venue’s premiere of AN ORDINARY PERSON and you will witness the efforts of the Sydney Independent Theatre Company’s (SITCO) suitably contrasted troupe of morality players. Believable human struggles in a new guise will resonate for some time after.
AN ORDINARY PERSON plays the Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, corner Cathedral Street, until November 16, playing Tuesdays to Sundays. Bookings- www.sitco.net.au or 1300307264.
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