Exit Theatre’s production of the Ukranian writer’s Neda Nejdana’s The Suicide of Solitude is full of ideas and possibilities all of which are explored throughout the play. A man, He (Kristof Kaczmarek) arrives on a roof dragging with him a dead body. Did he murder his victim? Before too long he is joined on the roof by a woman, She (Elizabeth O’Callaghan) a suicidal woman who intends to take her own life. Periodically their actions are interrupted by two cats in human form (wonderfully played by Dawid Kaczmarek and Suhasini Seelin) who provide a running commentary on the play’s events. What fate would have them arrive on the same rooftop at the same time is the mystery at the heart of Nejdana’s play.
This play is blackly comical and is subtly directed by Kristof Kaczmarek, who works hard to bring much humour and absurdity to the surreal writing. The interplay between He and She involves a lot of witty banter and playfulness, and both of the leads are up to the task of keeping this delicate game of back and forth alive. Nejdana’s script asks a lot of questions but rarely provides neat solutions and this is a part of its appeal. Although death looms large over the entire play, the experience never becomes maudlin or depressing, instead the thrill of cheating death becomes the experience for the performer’s and audience alike.
The set design by Carmen Grostal successfully conjures up a rooftop somewhere and the space at Rochford Wines makes for an excellent night out at the theatre – both unique in location and deserving to be seen. Often it’s difficult to find good quality theatre beyond the boundaries of Melbourne’s city limits which makes Exit Theatre’s production (a company based in Healesville) all the more surprising. If you’re up for an adventure out of the city and looking for a play about ideas then you should check The Suicide of Solitude out. More theatre should be this adventurous.
Exit Theatre presents
The Suicide of Solitude
by Neda Nejdana
Director Kristof Kaczmarek
Venue: Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley | 878-880 Maroondah H/way, Coldstream
Dates: 26 July – 3 August 2014
Tickets: $30 – $25 | Dinner & Show $85.00 ( Saturdays only, call 59622119 before 5pm to book the dinner)
Bookings: 59622119 | www.rochfordwines.com.au