Stefan Mrowinski provides the text and direction, actor Steven Kennedy brings the story to life, on this occasion in the downstairs theatre at the wonderfully quirky Butterfly Club. Set and sound design are minimal, so the focus really is on this one performer and his arsenal of words. He'd better be damned good if this is going to be any good.
It's raining. Lots of rain. Biblical rain, as the biblically named Jeremiah tells his story. The situation is not completely clear in the beginning. Who is Jeremiah? What is it with Tuesdays and rain and what is he looking for with those gold binoculars? Where is he? Is he hiding? Who from?
It's intriguing from the start as this strange, Catweazle-like character (but better looking and with a more impressive beard) tells us a story, his story, stories within stories. But Jeremiah ain't no Catweazle. He is something far darker, more of this world even though there is something more of-another-world feel to Jeremiah and his current situation.
Jeremiah's Tuesday is an observation of politics, humanity and power, and how dangerous and ultimately – perhaps inevitably – fragile the mix is. Apparently first written 25 years ago, it would appear to have been updated somewhat to include some current world affairs, whilst at the core of the thing... lets just say some things never change. There is plenty to recognise here from history old and recent.
The play is well paced and well structured with the text often poetic and playful, as well as slightly surreal. In fact there was a faintly surreal feel about the whole thing. Maybe not surreal, just otherworldly. Think Catweazle as a dethroned despot in hiding, finally accepting the fact that you and I and he together brought about his downfall.
I have it on good authority that the narrative during this performance might have been occasionally confusing due to opening night jitters and forgotten lines. I simply thought any minor plot obscurity was due to the nature of the thing, the kind of story that demands you pay attention. Overall the narrative came together and I certainly saw no sign From Mr Kennedy that he had fluffed anything. It was a seamless and thoroughly engaging performance.
So was it any good? Yeah, it was pretty damn good.
Black Stamp Productions have been invited to take Jeremiah's Tuesday to the United Solo Festival on Broadway, no less. It was a brief run here (last chance to see it tomorrow if this review goes up tonight) but hopefully it will do well in New York and see another run here.
Black Stamp Theatre presents
by Stefan Mrowinski
Director Stefan Mrowinski
Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place, Melbourne
Dates: 8 – 11 October 2015
Tickets: $32 – $26
Bookings: 9663 8107 | www.thebutterflyclub.com