Love is no accident in Accidental Productions fresh and unnerving production The Shape of Things - an expose of the art of seduction gone awry.
The new company has chosen well with Neil Labute’s contemporary and chilling portrayal of what happens after Adam meets Eve.
Undergraduate student Adam undergoes a transformation after encountering and becoming infatuated with fellow student Evelyn.
Mark Fantasia is compelling as the geeky Adam who is initially mesmerized by the siren call of sexual attraction and gradually transformed under the pretexts of love. At no point does the nerdy Adam remain true to himself and yet Fantasia manages to portray a likeable and empathetic character. Fantasia is totally convincing in his transformation from bashful to urbane and equally compelling as he wars with his own moral dilemmas.
Alice Darling’s Evelyn is no darling and has no such qualms. The sexy, shapely and sharp Darling is a force to be reckoned with as she portrays the calculating arts graduate, who leaves a trail of emotional debris wherever she goes.
Cleverly this doubtful duo depicts just how much fall-out can result from falling in love.
Caught up in tangled web of intrigue are Adam’s friends Jenny (Jessica Barnden) and Phillip (Tim Solly).
Barnden is delightful as agreeable Jenny who watches Adam’s makeover with growing attraction, and proves good nature does not always equate with good choices.
While all performances are powerful Solly is outstanding as the loud and brash best mate Phil. He extracts every nuance of meaning and emotion from this flawed character, while never letting the blokey façade slip.
Director and designer Kerry Foulstone has maintained the pace and style of this contemporary piece with a simple stage using white blocks which serve the changing scenes well. A media screen at the back aptly fills in the gaps and adds to the modernity.
The story is gripping and stimulates debate on the shape of many things – the naked truth about relationship pitfalls, self-justification gone wrong, the philosophy of art and the application of intellect versus emotion.
All subjective? Perhaps. Then see for yourself.
The Shape Of Things
by Neil LaBute
Venue: Higher Ground | 9-15 Light Square, Adelaide
Opening Night: Friday, Aug 15 @ 8pm
Matinees: Aug 16 & 17 @ 2pm
Evenings: Wed-Sat Aug 20-23 @ 8pm; Wed-Sat Aug 27-30 @ 8pm
Tickets: $22, 16, 14(FB)
Bookings: (08) 8232 2570 or dramatix.com.au