Leske's MethodBilly Smedley as George in Leske's Method

Leske’s Method is an evening of three short plays presented by Fractured Femur Theatre at La Mama.

The first play The Low Maintenance Theatrical Production is a brief satire about the difficulties of staging theatre without any money and the effort taken to justify the work to funding bodies and public liability insurance companies. The three ‘actors’ Cesar (Sarah Hamilton), Krapptaur (Will Greenway) and Rivers (Emily Sweeney) are all trying desperately to find ideas that they feel will be relevant to their funding application.

The second play, and by far the most developed in terms of story, is Leske’s Method about two hit men who are contemplating their actions immediately after one of them, Tom (Hamish Pritchard) has murdered an unseen victim. His partner George (Billy Smedley) is questioning Tom’s motivations for waiting around for a third man to arrive, and this  eventually becomes an examination into why they answer to their boss Leske at all. The pace is staccato with dialogue being fired out of the actor’s mouth, sometimes before you’ve even had a chance to realise what’s happened. The play suffers from this delivery, at times not giving the audience enough time to catch up.

The final play The Excuse performed by Will Greenway is a short work about a bureaucrat who is preparing for a public excuse that he will have to deliver to an assembled audience. Will Greenway is an interesting performer to watch but The Excuse doesn’t say anything particularly meaningful. The bureaucrat merely repeats his dialogue over and over again in various different permutations and while this is the point, after a while you can’t help but long for a greater meaning. It is also at the wrong end of the performance and as a result feels as if it’s a footnote to the rest of the performance.

All of the performers in Leske’s Method are committed and give excellent performances that are tightly directed, yet the overall experience is strangely unsatisfying. This is because although the plays are well written, the stories themselves don’t feel particularly new or original. Each play has its obvious precedent in style, technique and theme (most glaringly Leske’s Method in it’s similarity to Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter), and overall the production is clearly influenced by the likes of Beckett and Brecht. While this reveals a literate playwright aware of the theatre that he is intending to create, it has the unfortunate side-effect of camouflaging the playwright’s own unique voice and it’s this that ultimately lets down the production.

Fractured Femur Theatre presents
Leske’s Method/The Low Maintenance Theatrical Production/The Excuse
3 plays by Cameron Sievers

Venue: La Mama, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Dates: April 26 – May 6, 2007
Times: Wed and Sun at 8.30pm, Thurs and Sat at 6.00pm, Fri at 10.00pm
Duration: 60 minutes approx.
Bookings: 9347 6142

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