‘The Trembling Giant’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by August 10, 2016

‘The Trembling Giant’ is a dark, psychological drama from the ‘Those Who Love You’ production group. This beautifully structured, adult play was written by Perth actor and writer, Monty Sallur. At present Monty is studying for his Masters in Theatre.

This 55-minute, Sean Guastavino production about eco-disaster, can be seen at 7.00 each evening until Saturday 27th August, in the main theatre of The Blue Room Theatre complex, 53 James Street, Northbridge, Perth.

 

The scene is a filthy, damp bunker; a most convincing set from designer, Matt McVeigh and set constructor, Matt Crock. The walls are graffiti sprayed black concrete. The low ceiling is comprised of white slabs. Graphic designer, Joseph Dennis added the finishing touches.

The sparse furnishings include a camp bed, a few milk crates, and a couple of 20-litre water bottles. Centre stage is a tub of compost containing a pathetic, dying tree with the odd shoot on the branches.

The production was stage managed by Georgia Smith.

 

    It is early morning, obsessed and deranged Margo (Zoe Street) is worshiping the failing tree that is struggling to grow in the bunker where Margo has lived for decades. Margo compliments and praises the struggling plant in the hope it will blossom again.

    Thanks to climate change and nearby chemical works, the whole area for kilometres around has died off. Not a tree, bush or blade of grass remains. It is therefore essential that Margo does her best for this remaining tree. Like Lord Byron’s ‘Prisoner of Chillon’, she never dares to leave her prison.

     Margo shares the bunker with a loving, sensible young man, Flint (Peter Lane Townsend) who everyday goes in search of potable water, and tries gleaning the minimal remaining food. If he is lucky, he may even find a few seeds that can be planted for the future, but with the chemical works gestapo patrolling around, it can be extremely risky.

     How long can this dire situation go on? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

 

The topic of ‘climate change’ as a theme for a play did not exactly fill me with enthusiasm. Was this to be another message bashing experience? Absolutely not. This was something exciting and completely new.

When a playwright directs his own play the result is rarely satisfactory, but Monty has proved his immense skill in both fields by giving a truly gripping play. The two amazing actors had us on the edge of the seat as the tension rose. The clever lighting by designer Rhiannon Petersen, accompanied by Alex and Yell’s sound design, gave a tremendous climax that shook the building and surprised us all.

It is always good for a production marketer to have something genuinely worthwhile to promote. Amelia Tuttleby has an outstanding play to offer the lovers of quality theatre.