The Credeaux Canvas

25 Mar

A captivating tale, performed beautifully; what more could you ask for?

But naturalism in theatre is perfectly positioned for even more: the exploration of some pretty big questions.

Naturalism takes as its fundamental premise that there’s a Truth, and so no form is more suited to the exploration of “what is true?”

And The Credeaux Canvas by Keith Bunin does this in a way that’s utterly entertaining and entirely accessible. Funny and very moving, it’s an exquisitely crafted piece that asks ‘what is real?’

What is real art?

What is real love?

Director Byron Kaye’s production is simple and engaging. The performances he elicits from his cast are wonderful. The shifting relationships between lovers Amelia (Kitty Hopwood) and Jamie (Richard Cornally) and artist Winston (Alex Shore) are marvelously realized. Jennie Dibley, as Tess Anderson Rose, the art dealer they’re attempting to con, delivers a strong portrait of a surprisingly complex woman.


(A philosophical digression: the worm at the heart of naturalism is its desire to look backwards, to say ‘this is a record of the world’. But it ain’t over til it’s over, and so no record can ever be complete. Naturalism ignores the unpredictability pregnant in Time. This makes its theatrical incarnations only the more fascinating, as theatre is wedded to presenting change. And so theatrical naturalism is committed to saying that it’s change we could have seen coming all along. So, in one sense, no change at all.)

The fascination of The Credeaux Canvas is that it subverts naturalism in another way. It reminds us that reality, Truth, is a made thing. We don’t just discover the truth, we create it. We don’t just witness reality, we love it or hate it. We are not outsiders. We are in it and of it.

The Credeaux Canvas offers insights into why we attempt to capture Life at all. And it reminds us why it’s such an magnificently alluring fool’s errand.

Veronica Kaye

The Credeaux Canvas 

at TAP Gallery til 6 April

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