Seeing Unseen

12 Apr

Here’s a list of the top ten plays currently on in Sydney (for the comfort, convenience and edification of the understandably cautious consumer):

Number 1:

I’m not actually going to give any such list.*

That would be to exacerbate the very problem Seeing Unseen addresses so well.

We’re in danger of becoming a society obsessed and dominated by pop consumer sociology.  Statistics supposedly collected to serve us instead come to control us.

Seeing Unseen is a beautiful production. Devised by the company and directed wonderfully by Gareth Boylan, it’s simple, powerful and magnificently performed.

Kerri Glasscock and Michael Pigott play a couple whose every move is watched. Michael Cullen plays the unidentified monitor. He is omnipresent. He records. He gives advice.

Want to know the top ten places for takeaway in your neighbourhood? Want to know the most popular flavour of pie? Want to know the best place for coffee?

Seeing Unseen

Choices are recorded, tabulated and then declared. The effect is dire. What began as freedom, hardens to habit, and finally solidifies into destiny.

It’s a petrifying feedback system.

So, want to know the top ten ways of relaxing? Various drugs make the list, and the monitor is more than happy to administer them. An alternative is animal clips on YouTube. Bed time stories for adults.

The result of all this coddling is the loss of the very realm that best represents our adult autonomy – morality. Kerri Glasscock’s character asks ‘Is this racist?’ She doesn’t want to be racist. Perhaps a survey told her racism was wrong, but she no longer has the ability to recognize it.

Refreshingly, the major target of this satire seems to be us. Sure, there are forces and institutions that will attempt to control our life choices, but Seeing Unseen acknowledges that this is often only possible with our collaboration.

Seeing Unseen is funny, visually stunning and delightfully challenging.

Veronica Kaye

Seeing Unseen by Gareth Boylan, Michael Cullen, Kerri Glasscock and Michael Pigott

Old 505 Theatre til 26 April

*Though, if I had to list my top ten animal clips, one mentioned in this show would certainly make it – Honey Badgers of the Kalahari. I’ve seen what those determined little maniacs can do to a cobra. I’m not taking any chances.

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