In Cold Light presented by eVolVing Door Productions is a curious piece. The play written by Duncan Ley and excellently directed by Stefan Mrowinski explores the purgatory faced by priest (Chris Palframen) and his interrogator (Soren Jensen).
An inspector (Jensen) brings a priest in for questioning. A boy has been found murdered, the priest is a suspect, someone has made an accusation, but the inspector won’t say who. And so begins a cat and mouse game that we have seen before, a thousand times over in films, television and the theatre.
What separates In Cold Light from the others, is the choice of presentation. The show is staged in a Grand Guignol tradition with the actors, slowly breaking the fourth wall and taking on characterisations and gestures that disjoint us from the clichéd story and place us in another world entirely. This is a wise choice by director Stefan Mrowinski and the performers are up to the challenge. Jensen’s energy never wavers throughout the 1 hour 40 minute show and Palframen matches his tone where it’s appropriate, but mostly the two counterpoint each other and this is what makes the performance easy to watch.
If there is a problem with In Cold Light, it is in the way the script reveals itself. Everything seems to take too long, and although part of this is a deliberate decision made by director and cast, the script itself labours its points and repeats information too often. It could do with some judicious cutting, particularly if it is to be produced again in this version.
It is interesting to note that Duncan Ley’s play was first performed approximately 10 years ago as a naturalistic piece. The nature of the script definitely suggests this interpretation, but what Mrowinski has done here is to highlight the inner journeys of the two characters and explore the purgatory in which they inhabit. This is a much more interesting choice and saves the play from mediocrity. This is a claustrophobic production that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.
eVolVing Door Productions presents
In Cold Light
by Duncan Ley
Directed by Stefan Mrowinski
Venue: The Dog Theatre, 42a Albert Street Footscray
Dates: 14 – 23 Oct 2010
Times: 8pm Wed - Sat; 4pm Sun; 1pm Sat Oct 16/2