Left – Chris Pitman and Leeanna Walsman. Photo – Shane Reid
One of the most nicely crafted Australian plays of the twentieth century has lost nothing of its fascination after 15 years. It still poses a challenge to actors and production team alike, and these demands are more than adequately met in this fine production directed by Geordie Brookman.
Andrew Bovell’s elegant, stimulating script plunges the audience into a series of serendipitous encounters and neatly structured interweaving of people, their hopes, fears, dreams, delusions, and disappointments, using theatrical devices that echo the warp and weft of modern angst and aspiration in relationships.
Terrence Crawford, Lizzy Falkland, Chris Pitman and Leeanna Walsman, playing all nine characters between them rise to these challenges with convincing talent and skill. Much of the time, two scenes are being played concurrently, and the intersecting lives of the characters is reflected in the cross-over and sometimes simultaneous dialogue, particularly in the first half, neatly handled by this fine cast.
The interaction is excellently set by Victoria Lamb in a simple but striking design, with apposite lighting by Geoff Cobham. As a result, the stage and its discrete acting areas could become motel room, pub, lounge room, consulting room and dark forest as needed, while the specially written music by DJ TR!P adds a most pertinent emotional support and commentary to the fabric that is being woven.
Part love story, part thriller, and not without its humour, there is no final resolution, and the frayed threads of story and lives that never completely come unravelled are left dangling at the end.
This production is a credit to all involved and to the STCSA. It should not be missed. If you’ve seen it, you are probably still talking about it. See it again!
State Theatre Company of South Australia presents
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
by Andrew Bovell
Director Geordie Brookman
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Dates: 2 – 24 July, 2011
Tickets: Adult $49.00, Concession $42.00