Every Second

9 Jul

There are a lot of angry and envious people in this play.

Ok, there are only four characters, but they’re all in the same situation; they desperately want children.

I’m the worst possible audience for this.

I don’t understand the basic motivation of the characters. I want a child about as much as I want a rhinoceros.

Photo by Louis Dillon-Savage

Photo by Louis Dillon-Savage

So, on one level, I found the whole thing rather frustrating. There’s a grand secret but I wasn’t let in on it. The only explanation offered for the character’s desires was that everyone else had children – which, of course, wasn’t meant as an explanation at all.

The characters are middle class Australians. In one sequence, Georgina Symes’ character says she can control everything except her own uterus, which is a statement of staggering self delusion. It’s a pity this incredible power is not being used to slow climate change or solve third world poverty.

Vanessa Bates’ play is cleverly constructed with plenty of good laugh lines. Shannon Murphy elicits from her cast strong performances. But I couldn’t like any of the characters. (Yes, I’m a bad person – the weirdo who doesn’t want children.)

The set by Andy McDonell is intriguing. It suggests the lake in the park. It suggests a woman’s reproductive organs. It suggests a vortex, dragging the characters down.  This is not a play about finding, or sharing, joy.

Veronica Kaye


Every Second by Vanessa Bates

Eternity Playhouse until 27 July



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