In No Man’s Land, are they trapped wandering delirious through the foggy dreams and fanciful memories of the past or are they imprisoned by their respective mortal coils, the drudgery and meaninglessness of their present lives? They’re probably imprisoned in both.
Harold Pinter’s classic No Man’s Land, directed by Michael Gow is a co-production between Queensland and Sydney Theatre companies. The work is a vast landscape of words that roll and jostle through the audience as they imbibe the eloquent jumble of Pinter’s wonderfully poetic and dense writing. Actors Peter Carroll (Spooner) and John Gaden (Hirst) prove they are masters of their craft, their performances both physically and verbally agile. Equally robust performances are given by Andrew Buchanan who plays the brawny Briggs and Steven Rooke as the ultra metrosexual Foster.
A great wall of books creates a visually formidable backdrop in the centre of which sits an enormous cabinet of just about every type of booze imaginable. A complex cobweb of electric cable linked lamps are scattered around the set and act as a beautiful parallel to the tangled intricacies of memory in Pinter’s writing. The set’s sparse furnishings provided a delightful and obvious contrast, brilliantly designed by Robert Kemp.
Tony Brumpton’s lightly used but excellent sound design swirls around the room through the surround sound speakers creating a slight sensation of dizzying other worldliness. Nick Schlieper’s lighting design was faultless; each lighting shift and blackout submerged the audience deep into the theatricality of the piece.
This production of No Man’s Land conveys with a deft hand the complex and humorous nature of the piece which could either place you in a state of joyful delirium while you contemplate the poignancy of the play or have you feeling like you’ve just bitten off more theatre than you can chew.
Queensland Theatre Company presents
No Man's Land
by Harold Pinter
Director Michael Gow
Venue: Bille Brown Studio, 78 Montague Rd South Brisbane
Dates: 19 September - 22 October, 2011
Tickets: $30.00 – $60.00
A co-production with Sydney Theatre Company