Get a room!
Protagonists, He and She are so all over each other at the beginning of Con Nats’ The Pond, they don't just get a room, they buy a house.
Their heavily mortgaged love shack comes complete with a backyard pond with a water feature of a cherub pissing. The pond is full of tadpoles and it’s not long after taking possession of their castle that the princess wants her prince to release his tadpoles, so that their fairy tale romance can spawn offspring and complete their kingdom.
His tadpoles prove strong swimmers, finding purchase in her ovum, and the fairy tale fulfilment seems assured. Happy ever after, however, is curtailed when miscarriage mars their planned parenthood.
Devastated but determined, they try again, and ecstasy again turns to agony. She rages against her useless uterus, he feels useless. The fairy tale fractures. The prince becomes a frog. The pond of their passion becomes stagnant. Protagonists become antagonists.
Writer Con Nats combines poetic lyricism with punchy repartee, a jousting dialogue with ripostes, retorts and rejoinders, a narrative brimming with erotic playfulness, tempered by the hard truths of reality.
Rosemary Ghazi and Oliver Burton get the chemistry mixing from the start, the Bunsen burner on full flame under the beaker of unbridled bonking lust. Their embrace of the playfulness released by the full flush of urgent romantic love keeps the energy up even when the characters are laid low by dreams dashed and expectations frustrated.
Director Deborah Mulhall matches the lyricism and playfulness of the script with a fluid choreography making maximum use of a minimal set, colluding with her actors to physically render simple yet searing symbolic imagery.
The Pond ponders the pressures brought to bear on relationships, fiscal, physiological and psychological, all three a united affront, and how a universe of two can succumb to the adage: populate or perish.
Flight Path Theatre presents
by Con Nats
Director Deborah Mulhall
Venue: Addison Road Community Centre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW
Dates: 29 September – 10 October, 2020
Tickets: $30 – $25