Come Away With Me to the End of the World

Malthouse Theatre Company / Ranters Theatre

Direction / Adriano Cortese
Text / Heather Bolton, Beth Buchanan, Adriano Cortese, Raimondo Cortese and Patrick Moffatt
With / Rosa Voto with Alessandra Barone, Natasha Colangelo, Tania Dionisio, Lucia Gareffa, Vincenzo De Simone, Joseph Sirianni and Ourania Vassis

Synopsis

Come Away with Me to the End of the World / invites you to listen in on a conversation between three people as they shape and reshape their physical and emotional selves.

This self-imposed quest takes them through shifting landscapes and climates, snow-topped mountain peaks and erupting volcanoes.

Structured as a series of intimate conversations, ranging from the prosaic to the beautiful,
this production reaffirms Ranters Theatre 
as the masters of voyeuristic theatre. As we eavesdrop on these three figures, moments of eccentric dance and song erupt, and the disparity between their actual lives and their dreamed selves resonates intensely.

Review

Conversation is at the core of this production. Not dialogue, but conversation. Ranters Theatre company have created a space of play and reflection both inclusive to the audience and each other. Performers Beth Buchanan and Patrick Moffatt held the gaze of their audience for a prolonged period of time before starting conversation amongst themselves. With glimpses to their audience every now and then, ‘Come Away With Me to the End of the World’ nods towards an immersive theatre experience for the audience but in a rhetorical sense. There was comfort knowing there wasn’t a physical expectation as an audience member, but a somewhat happy sensation to know that the conversation was inclusive of us not delivered TO us. Two became three soon after when Heather Bolton joined the stage as they picnicked and spoke of each others’ experiences, thoughts and ideas. The three performers chatted to each other about peculiar situations and experiences, with added dreams that stacked on top of each other like quirky speech bubbles. Like a pop-up book, Callum Morton’s set unfolded before us as the characters took us on a voyage of sites, sounds and discovery in a somewhat dream like state as they discussed their outlook on life, and their states of being.

What I found most intriguing about the way the three interacted with each other – and no doubt a purposeful move by director Adriano Cortese – was the baseline emotion that threaded consistently from the start to the end of the production.’Come Away With Me to the End of the World’ felt like an exploration work that didn’t apologise for its emphasis on raw human qualities. It was void of heavy emotional baggage, instead each performer carried a sense of freedom, self-acceptance and contentment with who they were. Being a collaborative work, I could not help but assume that part – if not all – of the conversations taking place were autobiographical snippets from the actors’ own lives. A standout moment for me was Heather Bolton’s direct conversation to her audience as she listed all her likes and dislikes, her qualities and flaws. Her vulnerability and unapologetic delivery struck my romantic inclinations towards the tenderness of our humanity; her honesty was relatable and tangible.

The naturalistic story sharing made this experience both intimate and heart warming. With all the spotlighted chaos and darkness currently occurring in our world, faith in humanity has become more of a burdensome question than a statement. It is so easy for contemporary theatre to naturally fall into reflecting dark and heavy topics. It was a relief to be offered the other end of the spectrum, lightness, joy and celebration. 

Gentleness was the framework that shone for me from Adriano Cortese direction and the subtleness of lighting design by Govan Reuben and soundscape by David Franzke all elements marrying beautifully together generating a seamless rhythm, this made the moments when bursts of song, abstract costume, and dancing broke out so much more poignant, exciting and climatic.

In hindsight it wasn’t altogether clear to me what Ranters’ objective was in creating this piece of performance art meets theatre. It felt open to interpretation, playschool-esque for the soul and mind, as an audience member it became evident my engagement with this abstract style of story telling required my input of imagination, discovery and attention. The creative team and cast brought elements for us as the audience to play with, to build our own conversation from without themselves defining exactly what it was we were seeing in front of us. If this was their objective they succeeded.

‘Come Away With Me to the End of the World’ ever so gently reminded me how beautiful the individual is, and how complex, fun and at times comically absurd we are. A production that held no pretentiousness, ‘Come Away With Me to the End of the World’ was kind to the heart, and that is something both the cast and creative team should be proud to have achieved.

THE PIANO THIEF & RECIEVERS

Presented by Old 505 Theatre Co. & Feat in Space Theatre Co.

Written by Gareth Ellis

Directed by: Amanda Falson (Receivers) and Gareth Ellis ( The Piano Thief)

Performed by Mark Tregonning, Tom Milton, Mathew Young, Eva Torkkola and Sophie Kelly

Synopsis- An absurd, dark, sci-fi comedy, Receivers explores the world of idealistic farmer Hedrick who, after years at agricultural school, simply cannot make things grow. In a final attempt to save his property from ruin he stumbles into a world populated with a prostitute, a General, a television repair man, an unforgiving computer… and Hillary. Or does he? Welcome to Latin 4 space platform.

Review- Playwright Gareth Ellis has penned two absurdist pieces of theatre with characters who are easy to laugh with and at. What goes on in the mind of Ellis one can only imagine as we witnessed two densely short plays that took us on a journey of craziness and comedy.

The double bill started off with The Piano Thief, directed by Ellis himself. Ellis cast well for his characters Dave (Tom Milton) and Mitchell (Mark Tregonning) both actors performing with clarity and impeccable comedic timing in a piece that is both sporadic and bizarre in content. Milton who also performers in Receivers showcased his craft beautifully. An actor with a fine toolkit to rely on Milton gave a grounded and humourous performance throughout. A crowd favourite scoring earned laughs. Tregonning also gave a solid performance as the air-headed partner in crime Mitchell. Tregonning gave an expressionistic performance that reflected true context towards the character he was playing. Eva Torkkola who played quirky Jenny also brought her character to life with vigour, her generosity in performance was well accepted by her audience. Torkkola gave commendable performances in both shows, she also played clinically disturbed patient Hillary that engaged and enticed her audience to further dive into the absurdity of the worlds these characters live in. She also brought physical qualities to both of her characters that were interesting and evolving. Ellis’ directing was towards his actors with very limited props in use for the entirety of The Piano Thief which was favourable to witness. The use of projections is used through both productions, in The Piano Thief it did not hold much weight or purpose to the story as the images were so dark you couldn’t see them very clearly. A punchy short first half then kicked on with Receiver in the second part of the show.

Receiver, is like watching random brain activity and thought spuing from five vastly amusing and highly perplexing characters. Sophie Kelly plays a bossy prostitute in her stride making her performance laid back and nonchalant. Kelly is a natural performer with comedian attributes that made her easy to watch and her character likeable and fun. Matthew Young played farmer Hedrick, Young though comfortable on stage as a performer he tended to over act through out the entire play. His choice of physical response to circumstances that surrounded him were over the top and strained. Young struggled to nail the comedy in the text with little diversity in his performance for a character whom is complex in nature. Director Amanda Falson had her work cut out for her with this piece by Ellis which is chock-a-block full of absurdity. Falson had a cast who pulled off the play rather well with Tregonning, and Milton also playing a few characters through-out the piece with good comedic abilities that held the audience’s attention through the unfolding chaos as the story unfolded.

This is a night out for theatre-goers who love to be entertained by silliness and chaos. Ellis has written with smarts, cultural relevance and sensibilities. The set wasn’t as versatile as it could be; projections at times awkward or difficult to engage with, but overall an entertaining double-bill.

MISTERMAN

Siren Theatre Company & Red Line Productions

Old Fitz Theatre

10-27 June

Directed by Kate Gaul

Performed by Thomas Campbell

Synopsis –

Inishfree might seem like a quaint Irish town, but fierce evangelist Thomas Magill knows better. He knows jovial Dwain Flynn is a miserable drunk, that Timmy O’Leary enslaves his lovely mother and that sweet Mrs Cleary is a blasphemous flirt.

It is down to Thomas, with God on his shoulder, to save this sinful place. But the townsfolk are not listening, an angel is misbehaving and a barking dog will not be silenced. Just how far will Thomas go in his quest for salvation?

Review – Misterman, though a well written play by renowned Irish playwright Enda Walsh, one hander plays are most of the time a punish to endure, they are linear and often feel forced. It is very difficult for an actor to engage in only his/her own energy which bounces off the walls and their audience. Self engagement their only real outlet, with possible choices of  breaking the fourth wall or morphing of the many characters they have to produce…It quite often always feels like a reach that never fully extends. That, or you have an actor on stage with so many jobs to do it’s like watching a game of arcade pinball.

In this production, it felt very much like watching a human pinball bounce from moment to moment and most times from mess to mess. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the writing and I love Irish plays, but one handers just never fully satisfy my theatrical palette. The stakes for the performer are very high. Thomas Campbell who performed the role of Thomas Magill, with a passionate determination and focus carried himself well considering the density of the piece, the many characters he flowed in and out of and the very dark subject matters and characteristics that emerged. The character of Thomas Magill is intriguing, the narrative full of humour and horror making for a beautiful contrasting combination in a piece of theatre.

This contrast was not well executed by director Kate Gaul whose directing felt both rushed and unclear, with the characters objectives and intentions never fully surfacing as sharply as they needed to be. Thomas’ raging evangelism spiral didn’t come through to its full potential, and though there were some bright moments that were assisted by a very comprehensive and supporting sound design by Nate Edmondson, the staging of the piece was all too much. Set design was a mixture of nostalgic nods, suggested sugar addictions and clutter, to which grew as the play continued, with the addition of falling water, biscuits and costumes falling from “the fly” of the quaint Old Fitz space. Whatever it was Gaul was trying to execute felt gimmicky. It also felt a top-heavy job for Campbell whose physical scoring echoed that he was on a time frame that he must keep up with. There was just so much going on all the time, the production felt linear and half-baked. When it came to the climax of the piece I was so exhausted from watching Campbell jump through so many hoops I didn’t even care. This show needs to be much simpler in staging, there is so much for Campbell to focus on in his character work (which needed more attention) the set and staging elements simply drowned him. Gaul has a long history of directing and well-known in her community for her productions, this show felt un polished and below the standards expected from a director of her experience. Her casting I feel for this was not all together right, a more dramaturgical based actor is needed for this calibre of writing talent.

As Gaul stated in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, I quote, “If I said it was for advanced theatregoers, I don’t think I would be lying. It’s in the tradition of everyone from James Joyce to Beckett and everyone in between. Please, if you don’t like Irish monologues, don’t come!”

If you do consider yourself an advance theatre goer, your expectations will unfortunately not be fully met in Gaul’s production of Misterman, and I agree, if you don’t like monologues perhaps give it  a miss, but then again, I’m always hoping to be pleasantly surprised one day by the execution of one which is why I keep attending them. Sadly Gaul’s Misterman, missed the mark.

Photo credit: Diana Popovska

TRADE

The Old Theatre 505

12-17th May

A new creation by Hurrah Hurrah

Created by Alison Bennett, Dymphna Carew, Naomi Livingstone, Alison Windsor and Cheyne Finn

TRADE was inspired by the story of the French rogue trader, Jerôme Kerviel who lost €5 billion in illegal futures trades in Paris. Initially arrested in 2008, the story provoked a frenzied response from the finance community regarding fault. Who was to blame?

TRADE is not a re-telling of this story, but rather, an examination on the themes of guilt and redemption.

Review:

The Old Theatre 505 very rarely, to never, lets me down with their season choices. 505 in my opinion are THE leading independent theatre company whom not only have their fingers on the pulse with the calibre of creatives brought to their stage, they bring the very best independent work to which is current, fresh and interesting. I can quite honestly say that I was literally on the edge of my seat watching this production by this actor led, process based company ‘Hurrah Hurrah’. Quite honestly THIS is the kind of theatre I have been parched to see more of in our independent circuit. Actors and collaborators (this is a director less based company) Alison Bennett, Dymphna Carew, Naomi Livingstone, Alison Windsor and Cheyne Finn have done what I passionately wish I would see more of in term of theatre practice and creativity from independent artists. ‘TRADE’ took almost three years from conception to inception and it shows! Time is such a rare consideration in creating independent theatre, the value of investing in such a dedicated manner that spans over years (not a few weeks) is a remarkable effort which in turn has rewarded this dedicated bunch with a show that is exciting, gripping, eccentric, exploratory, funny, dark, twisted and most wonderfully physically bold and inventive.

I haven’t been this thrilled by an ensemble of performers since I can remember. These dedicated artists have clearly invested into the physicality of their theatre practice with all their might and nerves. Their brave attempt to (I quote) ‘distill many ideas into a cohesive whole’ has paid off in a show that no doubt grabs and challenges the imagination of the audience to whom responded warmly to this company’s exploration and approach to story-telling. Their set, bare with only two very well used multi-functional structures, successfully assisted these performers to enhance the physical narrative of the piece and highlight the absurd nature also. A simple, frabjous and savvy use of space, lighting and architecture.

This company has a vast amount of local and international training that has shone brightly through each performer. With influences from the bold Berlin company tg STAN and the obvious injection of Le Coq method and play, as well as improvisation into their kneading and breathing of their theatrical bread. ‘Hurrah Hurrah’ are most certainly a company to watch and ‘TRADE’ is a show not to be missed. With a redeveloping of the work to proceed in 2016, with writer and dramaturge on board, ‘TRADE’ is sure to be a show touring the nation and I would hope touring Internationally when cooked to it’s finest with that beautiful and rarely utilised ingredient TIME… I look forward to seeing the results of that!

A superb worthy night out as usual at The Old Theatre 505!

DEATHTRAP

Darlinghurst Theatre Company

Director: Jo Turner

Playwright: Ira Levin

Starring: Andrew McFarlane, Sophie Gregg, Timothy Dashwood, Georgina Symes, Drew Fairley

Synopsis: Celebrated playwright Sidney Bruhl is in the grip of chronic writer’s block. With another flop on his hands he’s running out of inspiration – and cash. When a young writer sends Sidney the script for his brilliant new whodunit, Sidney devises a plan to claim it as his own.

Review: I’ve got to say it right off the bat, what a show! When director Jo Turner referred ‘Deathtrap’ in his programme director note as a thriller that possess both horror and comedy in perfect measures, he was spot on. This is a brilliantly written, nail-biting, laugh out-loud theatrical triumph. Playwright Ira Levin, also writer of ‘The Stepford Wives’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ has a nak for weaving his twilight-zone style circumstances into seemingly average, everyday characters. ‘Deathtrap’ Broadways longest running thriller of all time is of no exception. Full of thrills, chills and giggles!

Jo Turner has done a stellar job at bringing this production to life to its full potential. The story ebbed and flowed in its curious manner without a hitch, the tone too was consistent throughout, custom made cookie cut awesome. Turner’s casting choices were excellent whom all fit into their characters shoes comfortably. His choice of creatives also a stroke of genius with celebrated set designer Michael Hankins’ crisp architectural style producing a set which was tremendously versatile and visualyl impacting. Likewise was his choice of award-winning lighting designer Verity Hampson whose lighting design in companion with Marty Jamieson’s composing and sound design was both eerie and electrifying telling a story all on its own which heightened the audiences thrill and suspense even more. Turner is a director who knows how to put a 5 star team together.

Andrew McFarlane, played playwright Sidney Bruhl wonderfully. His physical expression was aloof, nervous, child-like and extroverted. McFarlane carried his characters troubles and worries with spoonfuls of humour that made him an instant hit with the audience. McFarlane displayed lovely comic rhythm and timing. He interacted with his co-stars with a nonchalant banter that made scenes exciting and his character unpredictable. McFarlane is a seasoned actor whose performance was as sharp as a knife.

Timothy Dashwood, played Clifford Anderson the younger playwright with bright, youthful energy making his performance and character equally as unpredictable and loveable. Dashwood was a charm to watch with a performance that rang true to both the writing and the circumstances his character was faced with. Dashwood had his audience with him like an energetic tour-guide, his energy made the experience as an audience member that much more gripping and enjoyable.

Sophie Gregg, played wife Myra Bruhl with delightful measures, her quirky mannerisms and responses to her characters concerns were hilariously wrought together. Gregg developed an unusual character in Myra Bruhl with her physical movement choices and tempo which morphed from minimal to extreme in her dramatic impulses which made for an exciting performance. A fun, witty performer.

Georgia Symes, played psychic Helga Ten Dorp so brilliantly she absolutely stole the show. Symes’ performance was a laugh a minute. Her comic timing, dramatic responses and accent all made for a wonderful theatre performance. Her whirlwind entries were gleefully welcomed which had me hoping her exits would be short waiting with anticipation for her return to the stage. Symes had a comfortable grip on her character and rode the comedy of this play all the way home without missing a beat. A spot on performance!

Drew Fairley, played lawyer Porter Milgrim swimmingly well, his performance was funny, light-hearted and solid. His character though a smaller part was the cherry on an already delicious cake that added that little bit of needed pizzazz.

Deathtrap is a brilliant thriller, with a cast and crew who have echoed the playwrights unique voice with the style, pizzazz and suspense it deserves. If theatre shows could be called blockbusters this certainly is it!

Photo credit: Helen White

WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING

Synopsis: A story of love and loss, placed between two worlds, between a prediction in 1959 and its outcome eighty years later, told through the interconnected lives of two families over four generations.

Review: ‘When The Rain Stops Falling’ is a densely rich, and dark play intertwining characters in a poetic and cinematic nature. The content of this production is not light and fluffy, with family devastation on both sides of the fence that most would never recover from in reality and which haunt all involved in Bovell’s written word. Director Rachel Chant made this complex piece clear, keeping movement simple and purposeful which assisted in audience following who is who, when, where, and at what age circumstances where taking place. Chant’s casting was precise with a strong collection of actors performing complex characters. Chant generated some beautiful shapes from her ensemble, with some moving theatrical portraits.

I did feel strongly on the other hand that this space was not quite right for this particular production, a more intimate environment was required to assist and heighten both text and especially physical action. There was simply way too much room to move in for these actors, which interfered and went against characters stakes, and actors physicality. The text has some very confronting moments from an audience perspective which required a sensation of entrapment and contrast which was rarely achieved. There were also some dramaturgical concerns with some of the scenes, especially those that contained context that required some serious consideration of beats and the purpose of each tiny physical action, the inner symptoms of the characters during these scenes were not as powerfully pushed as required. In these moments the transparency of clear objective or life and death stakes for the characters and performer were thin and less grounded.

The design for this production by Martelle Hunt, though cleverly put together on an independent budget was not the right angle of abstraction for the work, with choices that were overly complicated in approach. With a work as intricate as Bovell’s, less is definitely more. An even more suggestive set would have proved as worthy. Stage management scene changes unneccisarily broke action for prolonged periods of time which hindered the musicality of Bovell’s writing. This too I felt could have been avoided. This all boils down to having too much space to play with.

As I mentioned previously, Chants’ casting choice for this production is well rounded. David Woodland starts strongly as one of the many generations of Gabriel’s. A man running from his past and avoiding his future alone in a run down hopeless unit. Gabriel does not believe in miracles or God, and a fish has just fallen out of the sky in the middle of the dessert. Woodland performs a resonably long monologue with beautiful rhythm and consistency, which kept audience captivated and drawn in. There is definitely room for improvement within the rather constant beat changes from character to character to give clearer definition. Woodland overall gave a solid performance, showed confidence with infectious vitality.

Helen Tonkin, plays the older distant mother of one of the generations of Gabriel’s. A mother who’s harbouring secrets has distanced and unrecoverable hindered her relationship with her son. Tonkin is a fine actor, who showed grief, heart ache and discontent in her characters physicality through the art of stillness. Stillness in fact was beautifully executed throughout this work, a wise choice by Chant and a heartfelt delivery by Tonkin. The stillness in Tonkins’ performance spoke much louder than her characters words ever could. Which is a true reflection of the soul.

Tom Conroy, played a few sons through-out which showcased his capacity for subtle adjustments in character. Conroy is a quality performer who had clearly found some foundational truths that were honest and believable. Conroy is a very generous performer who held nothing back without revealing all the mystery. Plenty for the audience to question and discover in his performance.

Peter McCallum, as Joe gave his audience a character to feel for and cheer on. Joe a soft-hearted, simple living man who has spent his life loving a woman who is loosing her mind in her age, with past and current circumstantial painful truths being flung in his face. McCallum’s performance was all heart and soul.

Renae Small, played the country girl Gabrielle with an awkward endearing quality that gave her character a rough diamond appearance. Her performance was enjoyable and at times humorous throughout. There were exchanges between Conroy and Gerald that at times felt textually out of beat and jarring, but these were not dominant of her performance. Small was engaging to watch.

Hailey McQueen, was given the challenging role of the younger version of one of a few lineages of Gabriels’ mother. McQueen had text that was by far the most confronting of Bovell’s writing dealing with a husband whose secret reveals subject matter that would make any stomach turn. Though somewhat unexplored I felt in the physical incarnation of her performance, and her emotional choices were surprisingly subtle considering the subject in spotlight, McQueen gave a gripping performance throughout. Her stillness also desirable to the eye with a human connection of sorrow not easily brushed aside.

Olivia Brown, played the aged Gabrielle whose mind is wandering from past to present with tremendous capacity and strength. Brown is a gripping performer whose emotional dwellings were clear and raw. Brown held a physical presence which made clear the stage is her place of comfort. Browns’ performance gorgeous from stake to stake. Lovely, sad and heartbreaking.

All in all Chant has done a beautiful job with a delicate text and smart casting. Sensational written play by Bovell. Worth your buck and worth your attention. On at The New Theatre till the 18th April

Photo credit: Bob Seary

FREAK WINDS

Old Fitz Theatre – Red Line Productions

Written & Directed by Marshall Napier

Starring: Marshall Napier, Anna Bamford & Ben O’Toole

10th March – 11th April

Synopsis: In a quiet neighbourhood on a dangerously stormy night, brash insurance salesman Henry Crumb invades the home of the reclusive Ernest and his mysterious companion Myra. Although Ernest seems like the perfect patsy, Henry’s sales-pitch doesn’t go as planned and the evening soon takes a strange and unsettling turn…

Review: It never ceases to amaze me when set designers take the intimate odd shaped stage that is the Old Fitz and use the architecture to its full advantage. Set and costume designer Lisa Mimmocchi stole the show with her savvy and sophisticated design. Very impressive to say the least giving this production a professional feel that was executed brilliantly. I was sure I was in for a wonderful surprise, the last time a set designer transformed this space so magnificently was Rodney’s Fisher’s ‘God of Hell’. And that was a hell of a show! So when the performances began my expectations were high.

The play started out beautifully, lighting designer Alexander Berlage and sound designer Nate Edmondson setting the tone of the piece that was immersive and interesting. Marshall Napier as Ernest was first on the scene, things were starting off well. We were taken through a moment of an apparent lonley, disabled, old man which was an endearing beginning. This moment was soon interrupted by the sound of his door bell to which we hear a very loud sales man, Henry Crumb, doing his best to get inside to sell the old man some insurance. The weather outside is aggressive and unforgiving. Ben O’Toole who plays Henry Crumb burst through the door when given access with an aggression right off the bat that was hostile and on edge. O’Toole remained at this level through out his entire performance. It didn’t take me long to feel alienated by his high blood pressured attempts at expressing his inner turmoil. I felt I was watching one beat of intense action that spread out over two hours. I found myself concerned for this performers health more than finding it an interesting directing or performance choice. It was linear and brash displaying no layers that made this character seem near close to resembling a real person. After 30 minutes of O’Toole continuing to push aggression as his main action I shut off completely, my care for his character non existant. I desperately needed to discover this character but instead I was forced to endure one choice which quickly put O’Toole in a corner he could not get out of. O’Toole, no doubt gave a passionate performance but it had no constraint and no resistance which made me wonder if much time had been allocated to exploring other possibilites between director and actor. If they did, the process was not enough.

Marshall Napier, on the other hand had a clear grasp on the mental state of his character, revealing a man who has quite clearly lost touch with reality. The lonley, harmless man we were faced with at the beginning of the play was clearly nothing of the sort as events began to unfold. Napier gave a strong performance as an actor, his experience and commitment was evident. My concern though quickly turned to the fact that he had written and directed this piece as well as starred in it. It is very rare I have seen a performance with this trinity combination and seen a balanced production. This production did not get the directing attention that it required to generated the type of terror and intensity that was required for this genre of theatre. Napiers’ writing, though skillfully written was too informative leaving very little as an audience member for discovery, there were too many moments assumption were pushed forward instead of suggestions. Ideas were preached instead of positioned in a way that the audience could become apart of the narrative by asking questions. It was clear Napier had drawn from a mirad of influences, the film ‘Misery’ quickly came to mind. The execution in ‘Freak Winds’ fell short of this production being a masterpiece like ‘Misery’ is, regardless of the difference of medium. I strongly believe Napier would have a much better production if he let go of that director hat and handed it to someone who would had a subjective view of the piece as a whole. The fact that Napier starred and directed this piece made his performance, though strong, insulated and for the other actors their performances were thin.

Anna Bamford, who appears as disabled character Myra too performed a very unexplored character. Her motivations were extremely unclear and her objectives were not clear from a viewer’s perspective. Bamford, showed confidence and glimmers of humour but very little else could be said of why Myra was who she was. Her character almost seemed pointless. Again, directing has failed her here. Where was the exploration, the depth? There just wasn’t any.

I appreciate what Marshall Napier was trying to execute by writing a thriller, but it is a very hard sell to an audience. This is a style that must be impeccable in every aspect, performance and depth of character, clarity of objective, and most important the stakes for each character. I had no idea (bar Henry not wanting to die) what the root issues and stakes were. I found myself frustrated, alienated and by the last scene felt like I was in a cheap Halloween show, which I am sure is NOT Napier’s key goal. Again the set production, lighting design and sound out shone the show, which is never a good sign.

‘Freak Winds’ is not a terrible show, it has all the elements to be something quite gripping and superb. Unfortunately it is an unbalanced show that needs some writing and directing adjustments.

Photo credit: Tim Levy