It is said that the optimist sees a glass half full where the pessimist sees the receptacle half empty.
Optimistically, Iley Jones’ play, TWO QUARTERS FULL, is a better script than the production, directed by Jones, currently playing at Marrickville’s Flight Path Theatre.
TWO QUARTERS FULL has a quartet of characters that are known to each other but feel strangely disconnected as if each was living in a bubble.
Christian is a young gay lawyer and former drug addict who has fled his family in England and set up solicitor shop in Sydney.
His legal practice is being investigated by Robin, who, coincidentally, is having a long distance cyber dalliance with Darren, Christian’s estranged, adopted brother.
Darren suddenly shows up in Sydney to consummate the relationship, take revenge on the perpetrator of a sexual assault against Robin, and berate his brother for not coming to his mother’s funeral.
Despite having a lover, Christian appears to be living with Sarah, a coroner with Parkinson’s disease. For some reason, all the characters in the play appear to shack up at Sarah’s, with her sofa attracting some major traffic.
The director’s choice for this production of TWO QUARTERS FULL is declamatory which tends to give every performance a flat, one note sensibility.
Add to this a poorly lit stage, it is difficult to decipher what exactly the writer director wants to illuminate in this muddied narrative.
It’s all a bit like fumbling anticlimactic foreplay, all tepid and turgid talk when their tongues should be yearning to be employed elsewhere.
Structurally, Jones seems to be preoccupied with ticking boxes – identity politics, law and justice, miscegeny, disability, sexual harassment, love and death- rather than kicking them and crushing the cliché from them.