Gifted American film director, screenwriter and playwright Neil LaBute has built up an impressive oeuvre of work since his first play FILTHY TALK FOR TROUBLED TIMES was first produced in 1989. For my money, his 1991 play THE SHAPE OF THINGS, ranks as one of his finest and most provocative works.
I first saw this play back in January 2005 in a great mainstream Sydney Theatre Company (STC) production helmed by Jeremy Sims with wonderful performances by Leanna Walsmann as Evelyn and Brendan Cowell as her victim/lover, Adam.
Yes of-course the show is performed on a much smaller scale, nevertheless the Hot Room Theatre Group’s current revival at the tiny Horizon Theatre in Wiley Park, helmed by Steve Hopley, generated plenty of sparks.
You wouldn’t think that a play starts with an encounter and flirtation between an art gallery security guide and an abrasive, attractive young woman who wants to graffiti one of the gallery’s prized works of art would end up being a portrait of a ruthless, ambitious young artist who doesn’t think twice in using her personal life as raw material for her work without any responsibility for the emotional fallout that arises.
With Evelyn, LaBute has created a chilling, haunting role and Emilia Stubbs Grigoriou, who has primarily worked with Manly’s Rough Hewn Theatre Troupe, is up for it and gives a strong performance. UWS graduate Diego AR Melo holds his own as poor Adam, and Benjamin Buryo as his best friend, Philip and Alison Lee Rubie as his fiance, Jenny lend good support.
If you like your theatre with plenty of bite and really edgy dialogue, then try and make the trek out west before Hot Room’s production finishes on Sunday. The theatre is located on the corner of King George’s Road and Canterbury Road with off street parking.