Friday, February 29, 2008

The Seed

At the Belvoir Theatre, Company B under the auspices of Neil Armfield presented a relatively new Australian Play THE SEED by Kate Mulvany. Originally presented in the 80 odd seater downstairs as part of the 2007 B Sharp Season, an annually curated season of Co-operative Theatre Companies, the play has been invited to play in the Main House Upstairs. This is a much larger space (300 odd seats). The experiential heat of a close space often covers the faults of a play. But in this bigger space the play is exposed at a comfortable distance from the emotional breaths and instead an objective eye is engaged and the new experience exposes the writing as merely a promising piece of writing by a talented writer. It is very conventional in its construct, character and confrontations – a throwback to Peter Kenna’s family sagas. It has too many things going on: an IRA fantasist , a Vietnam Veteran , Agent Orange , sterility, pill popping, kleptomania are some of the offers The play lacks fluidity (One longs for Martin MacDonagh’s skill) and often loses the audience’s commitment. Restlessness ensues. Martin Vaughan gives a veteran’s performance of some skill. Danny Adcock and the writer herself, Kate Mulvany are stalwart supports. The Design elements Sets, Costume, Lighting and Sound are merely adequate. Little real Dramaturgy seems to have happened from its original presentation to this Main House transfer. It was a disappointing night in the theatre considering the Hype projected about it.

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