Out Of the Blue | La MamaI am very unsure about Out of the Blue - a unique tale of two old friends who fall in love, while holidaying at a beach with their husbands. What was particularly difficult for me when it came to this production was that I felt very empty when I left. What I mean by that is that I didn’t really feel anything for the characters or their situation.

Written by Kate O’Brien, Out of the Blue is a poetic work that identifies feelings and emotions through a metaphoric language. The play was well written and the poetry beautiful, establishing a mood that was almost calm and eerie at the same time. It gave only a vague explanation for what was happening and perhaps this is why O’Brien used poetry, to emphasise the confusion of the whole experience. However, poetry can be a very personal thing and I found it difficult to connect to the words at all. For me the poetry left holes in the story, and I was left wondering why these ladies began to feel the way they did. There was no established reason for their feelings.

The ensemble cast was excellent. Rosemary Johns, Marisa Lawlor, Adam J.A. Cass, and Tim Ferris are to be commended on their consistent performance. Director, Lloyd Jones, has decided upon a very alternate and metaphoric delivery for his actors. Each actor carried chairs throughout and placed them according to their participation in each scene. This gave the production a flow that was very appealing. Scenes moved from one to the next very efficiently, and smoothly, like the waves of the beach themselves. Furthermore, Jones used the chairs to establish the boundaries of each character. At times, characters would hold the chairs in front of them to keep their distance from another. All in all, this was a very brave yet difficult constraint to establish and the actors did an excellent job making the chairs an extension of themselves. For me, the staging was the most interesting aspect of this show, and helped create a mood and flow that complemented the poetry of the text.

However there were minor inconsistencies that worked against the established flow and style of the piece. The music for example, seemed to have no purpose whatsoever and became a separate entity to the play.
As an audience member, I appreciated the many innovative elements of the show, such as the staging and the poetic writing. In some ways I felt as if this made Out of the Blue very unique and pioneering. However, I also believe that a show needs to affect an audience emotionally and for me, Out of the Blue left me very blasé. All in all Out of the Blue felt incomplete to me. But I believe with some slight changes it could be a very amazing piece of theatre.

La Mama presents
by Kate O’Brien

Venue: La Mama, 205 Faraday St Carlton
Dates: Wed Jan 23 – Sun Feb 3
Times: Wed/Fri/Sun 6.30pm; Thurs/Sat 8.30pm
Tickets: $20 full / $10 conc.
Bookings: 03 9347 6142

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