detest There can be no doubt that Angus Cerini, the creator of detest (this thousand years I shall not weep), is a compellingly talented performer. Multi-skilled, charismatic, with an impressive emotional range, Cerini has created an award winning piece of work in association with sound designer Kelly Ryall.


Based on Cerini’s research into male juvenile crime, detest (this thousand years I shall not weep) is a poignant representation of our social flaws as manifested in resulting male juvenile crime. This one-man show features a combination of recorded narration, dance, character performance and music. Performing in an emotionally wrenching style, Cerini creates a performance that frequently feels like a visceral regurgitation of the repercussions of our social choices. 


At the core of this show is the story of a 15 year old boy who commits the kind of crime that generally engenders moral-majority outrage and desire for revenge. Cerini moves swiftly beyond the surface of this story, based on real life events, and displays a teenage boy imprisoned in a cycle of poverty and abuse long before his actual incarceration by law.


This is a multi-themed production, focused on a sense of hopelessness and desperate longing; it is both admirable and entertaining but also a little uneven. Not all the themes raised are fully explored, revenge for example, and links between sound and vision are sometimes disjointed and distracting. That said, this is a terrific piece of theatre. Cerini charms his audience with a ‘pre-show’ introduction, his narration has a beautiful poetic sound to it and his movements are well observed and provocative. Cerini captures his boy-character stunningly; especially fine are the moments of heightened emotions, in which the animal nature of people is displayed. The stage is plainly set and the lighting is blunt, both features which work very well with the style of production.


detest (this thousand years I shall not weep) is a revealing exploration of fraught lives, in which the audience is left with a feeling of hopelessness, despite small moments of pleasure. It is certainly no feel-good piece. Cerini fearlessly exposes himself, good and bad, in a performance that is a beautiful combination of frenzy and compassion. This is the sort of well researched, bold and breathless production I love to see at La Mama.

a doubletap production
detest (this thousand years I shall not weep)
A theatre/dance/music work for a solo performer

Venue: La Mama at the Carlton Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Dates: February 9 – February 17, 2007
Times: Sunday and Tuesday at 6.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday at 8.00pm
Duration: 75 minutes approx
Bookings: 9347 6142