‘CITY…..’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 5, 2015

‘xt’ is a group of unusual and fascinating tales based around an unnamed city. The stories have been gathered and devised by Curtin University’s theatre students; then smoothly, in a tightly written script, presented by them under the watchful eye of the award winning, Artist-in-Residence, Joe Lui.

The performances begin at 7.00 each evening at the Hayman Theatre Upstairs, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley. The nearest carpark is B13, which is free after 4.00 pm. The show has a short season, running until Saturday, 8th August.

 

The design for this show is unique and stunning. Everything is white – brilliant white – every wall, floor, blade of grass, every piece of scenery and all of the props. Pure white. However, the clever and most effective point is that every brick, chair, dustbin etc. has black tape along every edge. The effect is striking. (Designed by Sean Guastavino and built by Ian Stewart).

Karen Cook’s colourful lighting design, worked beautifully on the white, bringing it to life. Elliot Macri’s soundscape was well recorded and brought a few smiles in places.

Each area of the set was minimalistic; there was a train station, a train, a laundry, café and a shop all depicted symbolically.

 

       A nine-year-old girl (Rhiannon Petersen) stands on the station platform; she has lost her mother. She watches the people around her, fascinated by the gays kissing on a bench and the wild woman (Amy Tamati) shouting her disgust at their behaviour. On another seat, a married couple (Daisy Coyle, Jarryd Dobson) are having their morning ‘warm up’, a pointless argument.

       A courier (George Ashforth) delivers a valuable package to a ‘special’ shop, where the manager (Terence Smith) gives him valuable advice.

     When a jilted bride (Ashleigh Ryan), still in her bridal gown, runs past in a flood of inconsolable tears, a young yob (Jeremy Bunny) tries unsuccessfully to cheer her up – by offering to sell her the latest perfume. He then moves on to robbing a young, gullible girl (Madeleine Mullins).

     All of life certainly passes by in this fascinating city.

 

Very often students’ devised shows are a collection of short acts, joined poorly together becoming a bit of a Curate’s Egg. This show, however, was magnificent from start to finish; beautifully structured with plenty of very different, but instantly recognisable characters and true-to-life situations.

The cast worked smoothly, most actors having two parts to play. The movement, directed by Joe Lui with dramaturg help from Dylan Searle, was slick and flawless.

This hour show was great fun and well worth seeing.