‘Those Who Fall In Love, Like Anchors Dropped Upon The Ocean Floor’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by November 19, 2014

‘Those Who Fall In Love, Like Anchors Dropped Upon The Ocean Floor’ is a highly anticipated world premiere, from the pen of the most intriguing Irish born, but now Tasmanian resident, Finegan Kruckemeyer. He was described in the Scottish ‘Herald’ newspaper, as ‘a marvel of exquisite theatre-craft’.

Still in his mid-thirties, this highly successful playwright has had 71 commissioned plays, performed on five continents and translated into five languages. Many of his plays are for children, and indeed he has won many awards, both Australian and international, for his celebrated writing.

This wonderful, fast moving, 75-minute production comes courtesy of Jo Morris and theMOXYcollective (Renée Newman-Storen and Mark Storen), and is part of the Pride Festival. It can be seen at The Blue Room Theatre, 53 James Street, Northbridge, every evening at 8.30 until Saturday the 29th November.

 

The set is another of India Mehta’s inspired ‘transformers’. The versatile unit is built like an area in a diner, with two bench seats and a central table, compartmented in a box. On rotation, this remarkably clever unit becomes a shop window, a lookout, a submarine, restaurant, and even a house front door. India has been aided in designing the set and costumes by Sally Phipps.

The speed of the numerous set changes had to be less than three seconds each to keep the pace and tension going, and so the costume changes had to be just as fast. The outfits must still present clearly the nationality and personality depicted by the actor; the simple, but well-chosen articles of clothing were perfect.

 

       In a Parisian street, a watch mender (Ben Mortley) sits at his shop window watching (no pun intended) the world go by. He explains how by adjusting the cog sizes of a clock he can speed time up, or slow it down. He has just finished repairing a timepiece and as he hands it to the young lady owner (Renée Newman-Storen), he tells her the time is 9.15 and that she should reset the hands.

      We are transported to a Cold War Russian Submarine deep in the waters of the Atlantic, just off the American coast of Georgia. It is 9.15 on the same day. We experience how the captain of the vessel hassles his crew and worries about his future.

      Still in the same time zone, we are taken to the Appalachian Mountains where, lying in the snow, are a couple of young shooters practising target shooting. The girl (Jo Morris) is finding it very difficult and would rather be wrapped up in a warm bed with her instructor.

     At 9.15 in a restaurant, a nervous young couple are meeting for their blind date.

 

In this richly observed collection of personality and character studies, we are taken to various international venues, meeting several very different folk on the way. Under the imaginative and meticulous direction of the multi-award winning director, Adam Mitchell, the three highly talented cast members gave good solid, flawless performances whilst shifting scenery, changing their costumes and adopting various accents – and there were many – an actor could be speaking with a convincing French accent then immediately change to a thick Russian brogue.

The instant recognition of the locations was helped by the clever use of the lighting (designer Chris Donnelly) combined with pertinent mood music and sound effects (sound designer Ben Collins). They gave an expert finish to this exciting and fascinating look at people’s lives.

With such a fine script and three incredible performers, this show was a fine example of what theatre is all about.