SinnersOsamah Sammi and Gemma Cavoli  in Sinners

La Mama at the Carlton Courthouse presents Sinners, written by Ramez Tabit and Johann McIntyre. Originally written solely by Tabit, Sinners passed through the Arts Victoria creative development process, acquiring a co-writer and a fundamentalist Christian perspective to go with its, pre-existing, fundamentalist Muslim perspective.


Ostensibly this is a play about the resilience of humanity and its propensity to go to extremes. This production utilizes the skills of two performers, Osamah Sami and Gemma Cavoli, to portray four characters and a sheep. The ambitious Sinners covers many themes within the overriding one, including refugee resettlement, adultery, illegitimacy, fundamentalism, racism and sexuality, juxtaposing two initially independent storylines until they are gradually blended.


This production is at its strongest during the comedic moments of the play. Both performers display a genuine feel for comedy and that is a pleasure to watch.  Unfortunately I feel that the choice to use two performers to portray four characters, in this instance, did not entirely work to serve the purpose of the play. The dynamic of ‘transforming’ between characters is not nearly dynamic enough, on many levels, making the process seem gimmicky and lackluster. The resulting quick scenes fail to render the characters with enough depth to actively serve the subsequent more dramatic focus of the play. Only one character really has enough substance to drive the play into drama.

But again, the comedy is strongly written and performed.


The simple, draped set is generally well used, moving characters from one situation to the next with limited fuss, as the script requires.

Perhaps Sinners is still a work in progress, which may benefit from narrowing its thematic focus and beefing up its characters. Nonetheless, Sinners is a thoughtful production from a production team who seem capable of ultimately fulfilling their aspirations.

La Mama presents
by Ramez Tabit and Johann McIntyre

Venue: La Mama at the Carlton Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton
Dates: March 16 – March 31, 2007
Times: Thursdays to Saturdays at 8.00pm, Wednesdays and Sundays at 6.30pm
Duration: 90 minutes approx.
Bookings: 9347 6142

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