Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Wait Review

Wait begins quietly and ends quietly – it seems only fitting.

Essentially a poetic and obtuse conversation between two women waiting for their inevitable deaths Katie Founds Wait transfixes its audience in a strange captivating anticipation. To begin, Ruby Mathers faultless set design deserves high praise. Her transformation of what is usually a rehearsal space into a realistic hospital ward demonstrates an impressive understanding of space making it all look a lot easier and simpler than I am sure it was. Two curtained cubicles separate Madeline Ryan and Angelique Murray who with a silent nurse (Sweeney Young) guiding them along the way – traverse the words of Katie Found towards death.

Katie Found’s script presents no easy feat to any actor but Madeline and Angelique do not hold back. They attack the text with a ruthless intensity that brings life and levels to words that, due to their stylised and poetic nature risk falling flat if not presented from the right performer. For me, the most notable achievement of Madeline and Angelique was their ability to find comedy within the sombre text and mood of Wait – bringing a real human feel to the stylised script. Sweeney Young, the silent nurse offers a somewhat chilling cheerfulness to the whole image of death by remaining so visually impartial to the whole process – for me he came to symbolise the naturalness and uneventfulness of death.

Scene changes and technical elements of the performance also appeared to further emphases this idea of death as mundane, standing in direct contrast to the intensity of Katie’s words and Madeline and Angelique’s performances. The lights came on and off agonisingly slowly between scenes; the nurses went about tidying the ward leisurely, Sweeney munches on his M&M’s and no one pays much attention the patients at all.

Perhaps a minor flaw to the work is that the reinforcement of the mundane through repetition and long black outs nearing the end dragging on a little but this is only a minor point.
All in all Wait is a outstanding and brave piece of theatre making it clear that Katie Found, Ruby Mathers, Madeline Ryan & Angelique Murray faces to watch out for.

This review was contributed by Micheal Fee from the team at City Pigeons Theatre. Both Wait and Dead Funny will be touring up to the Festival of Australian Student Theatre (FAST) in Brisbane later this year.

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