Left – Angus Cerini
Angus Cerini is known for performances of intense visceral physicality and singular innovative language and this show is a wonderful example of him at his best. Resplendence, a solo show, features Cerini as a character, a young man, angry, damaged, alone, acting out his alienation. We meet him alone in his flat, ranting at his empty fridge. He eventually goes out cos he’s hungry but the interior scenarios of his life are reflected by what he sees around him.
He is hostile and attacks everything. He articulates everything: What he feels thinks and sees around him. It’s a bleak world, a world where the character is at odds with himself and everyone around him. He can’t get a cup of tea… The stark set consists of a chair and lighting.
The language is extraordinary, although hard to hear at moments. The remarkable physicality of Cerini’s performance is almost another character in itself. Even before he speaks his body is a vessel of chaos. This is the performance of bleakness. Resplendence is an inward and outward rant; you could compare the first half with the famous soliloquy in Taxi Driver, the ‘you looking at me?’ monologue.
Everything around the character’s inner world is a reflection of his outer world while he continues to rant. As internal and external chaos become one he manifests his hostility in his dealings with others. The story of the one person who does cross him plays out towards some sort of breakthrough. But there is still the world...
As we in the west have internalised the values of our society we cannot see clearly how in being oppressed we become the oppressor, yet at the same time we collude in our own destruction. The planet is almost beyond saving as a result of consumerism, in the case of Resplendence the greed is for drugs, for weapons, for slaves. All is in service to greed. How can we live in this world separately and sanely; how can we not be destroyed ourselves by what we have created? Is Cerini’s character mentally ill? The work suggests that the cost of living our lives so blindly confluent with our ‘progressive’ society can only result in a form of disassociation, of mental illness, or, at the very least, of despair. Powerful work. Additional direction and dramaturgy are by Susie Dee.
Resplendence is magnificent theatre. It will stay with you.
Angus Cerini/Doubletap presents
by Angus Cerini
Director Angus Cerini
Venue: Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
Dates: 29 May – 8 June 2014
Tickets: $25 (NEON Pass 5 plays for $100)
Bookings: 03 8688 0800 | mtc.com.au/neon