What does Melbourne playwright Lee Gamblin discover when he delves into the inner workings of the worlds’ most famous horror novelist Stephen King?
A tormented artist perched high upon a throne, King stares at his typewriter seemingly willing it to write something, anything. As he struggles with writers block, characters from King’s earlier novels begin to manifest physically, taunting him with countless ideas until the writer's overactive imagination is consumed with horror stories past, rendering him scared and terrified of his own creations.
Played by King lookalike Peter Berzanskis, the relatively new actor delivers a strong performance of the novelist, drawing the audience into the terror that divides fact from fiction that his own psyche conjures up on a daily basis for the reading publics enjoyment.
Joined by a talented ensemble of Reville Smith, Nicholas Brien, Tamara Donnellan and Mim, the performers embody both King’s employees and friends before revealing themselves to be the infamous psychopaths and killers from the writers’ most famous novels.
The youthful Donnellan, and all American track star Brien, are the strongest of the cast and deliver consistent representations of the varied characters they embody throughout the one act play.
Directed by Dione Joseph, the play packs a lot of information into just under an hour and is crammed with Stephen King references. For those unfamiliar with the writer, you need not worry as the play focuses on many of his works that have been adapted to the screen or have made it into the popular culture arena.
From Carrie to Cujo, The King of Bangor is infused with the eerie quality of Christine Munroe’s violin as she draws her bow across the strings with spine chilling precision.
As Kings’ characters become more insistent that the writer to finish his latest novel, their ideas become more of hindrance than a help. King becomes lost in the stories of past creations who laugh at him from behind the wings and plague his attempts to write.
Writing a horror story is one thing, but living with the illusions of your own terrified mind is enough to drive this King to madness. A wonderful look into the thin line that divides reality from illusion, The King of Bangor is an unsettling tale of what can happen when creation surpasses creator.
King of Bangor
by Lee Gambin
Directed by Dione Joseph
Venue: Bella Union, Trades Hall
Dates: 29, 30 June, 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 July 2011
Times: 1.00pm and 8.00pm
Tickets: Full $30.00 Concession $25.00