“There’s no justice, just grace…for those that can see it.”
GoD BE IN MY MouTH’s Grace is essentially an extended domestic between three members of a long-estranged family conducted on a roof-top while three pigeon-headed people gambol about in the background. It’s weird, in a mild, comfortable kind of way, and occasionally long-winded, but it is enjoyable theatre.
Twins Wade and Serbia are fourteen-year-old orphans; they have long lost their mother and only recently been informed of their father’s death. Having each been abandoned to foster care ten years ago, they reunite to seek out their rich uncle for help. Their reactions to one another, and their uncle’s methods of dealing with their demands (which involve a great deal of talking and prancing about and the judicious application of a cordless drill) are used by writer/director Luke Brennan to explore the issues of family, identity and the point, or lack there of, of life.
“It’s nice to be trapped.”
The versatile Luke Mullins is undoubtedly the star of the show. His Wade is a twitchingly effeminate confection of a fourteen year old boy whose centre may be dankly rotten, but more likely just disappointingly vacant. Mullins occasionally overplays Wade but he captures his neediness and his slippery enthusiasms beautifully.
“Real strength comes from knowing what you want.”
Katrina Milosevic is good as Serbia, Wade’s hard-nosed and grasping sister with an achingly vulnerable underbelly. Milosevic seems to struggle a bit in her role, not always finding quite the right balance between the cynicism of a child who has seen too much and the lack of sophistication that comes with being a fourteen-year-old girl. But she shines when she has to portray Serbia’s fragility. The moment when Serbia retreats into her headphones and the maudlin glory of The Bangles’ The Eternal Flame is a small triumph.
Brian Lipson is a funky, dishevelled Uncle with a fine line in malevolence and the pigeon people? Well, they have terrific head pieces, I must say. All luxuriant feathers and huge twinkling eyes. In fact they looked pigeony in the extreme, although what exactly what they bring to the play as whole that couldn’t be supplied by a few stuffed specimens connected to a string is a little beyond me. I am partial to the weird and the bizarre in theatre when it actually reveals something; I get cranky when I get the impression it is just being bunged in for effect.
But that, I suppose, is one of the dilemmas for modern theatre. As Wade himself observes, it is so terribly difficult to shock anyone these days. Grace is a mixed offering from Luke Brennan and his company but it has some terrific moments and a kind of ramshackle charm.
GoD BE IN MY MouTH presents
Written & directed by James Brennan
Venue: Theatreworks | 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Dates: March 8 - 25, 2007
Times: Tues – Sat @ 8pm; Sun @ 5pm
Tickets: $25 Conc $18
Bookings: 9534 3388