6 May

Directed by James Dalton, this is a deeply atmospheric piece. Two actors deliver dueling monologues, which only occasionally intersect. Initially the actors are in the tightest of pinpoint spots; the darkness is the third character. James Brown and Tom Hogan’s soundscape is ominous.

The world of the play is one of guilt; about sins of omission, about parental error. It’s also a world of unexplained violence and reckless impulses. A man leaves an injured woman at the side of the road. Another woman vacillates as she struggles with the rearing of a troubled child. Georgia Adamson and Martin Crewes give powerful performances, textured between fear and that learnt complacency we employ to reassure ourselves that all is, in fact, OK.


Writer Brooke Robinson engages her audience in two ways.

One is through quirky observations about human responses. Is my son better off in a wheelchair? Why did I think only of myself at the time of the accident? Why do we assume that the disabled are better people? (Do we? The age old stereotype is the opposite.) This sort of offbeat observation can be wonderfully stimulating, little electric shocks which either tickle or torment.

The other way the play engages is by withholding information. What has actually happened? What connection do these characters have?  Once again, this sort of slow drip can either be a torture or a delight. Whichever way you experience it, the technique very effectively creates an atmosphere of foreboding, a heightening of the senses, and a deep questioning: In our privileged suburban lives is all, in fact, OK?

Veronica Kaye

Animal/People by Brooke Robinson

Bondi Pavilion til 16 May

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