Construction of the Human Heart

18 Apr

What are stories for? What does language do?

Ross Mueller’s Construction of the Human Heart is a witty, rich and humane exploration of these questions.

Two playwrights live together. They share their experiences of Life, and of its possible opposite; writing.

It begins as though it’s a staged reading, and then becomes beautifully messy.

Director Dino Dimitriadis allows a splendid simplicity, and with masterful restraint creates a space where actors Cat Martin and Michael Cullen can deliver superb performances of Mueller’s provocative script.

Are our stories an attempt to deal with the world? Or are they an attempt to control the world?  Are they coping mechanisms? Or something more sinister?

How much can words capture? And is Life, like so many wild things, simply unable to breed in captivity?

Image ©Matthew Duchesne/

Image ©Matthew Duchesne/

The title of the play is deliciously ambiguous. Construction? Does this refer to the heart’s inherent structure? Or our deliberate, desperate building of it?

The play deals with fraught emotional issues, but let me focus on something a little smaller, but hopefully still illustrative of the fascinating questions Mueller raises. There’s a series of very funny exchanges about breeding. For example, what would the child of Stephen Hawking and Elle Macpherson be like? So, the issue of pedigree is aired. And then the play is the story of two playwrights. What exactly are playwrights? (They’re even contrasted to TV writers.) Are playwrights something essentially different from other people? What story are we telling ourselves when we make the assertion “We are artists” ? And for what purpose?

What do our stories do?

Veronica Kaye


Construction of the Human Heart by Ross Mueller

TAP Gallery til 3 May

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