Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Gloveman

Photo by Hayden Brotchie

Actors Anonymous presents, THE GLOVEMAN, by C.J. Naylor, at the Blood Moon Theatre, 24 Bayswater Rd Kings Cross. Wed - Sat 4th - 14 October.

THE GLOVEMAN, by C.J. Naylor, is a new Australian play. The gloveman is the goal keeper in the game of soccer. This play was germinated from the match fixing scandal that came to light at Southern Stars Football Club in Victoria a few years ago.

The play however is really an observation of some of the people that kick about in the lower grades of the sport. Mr Naylor introduces us to Royce (Chris Argirousis), the 'gloveman' - also a gambler - who has taken a bribe to throw a game. He has a slightly disabled sister, Edith (Brinley Meyer) who runs the local pub/bar for him.There is, too, a loyal mate, Col (Matt Blake) and a past club rival, Clive (Ben Dewstow). The three of them, apparently lunk-heads and more than slightly dim witted, who, when 'threatened' by the needs of Hugh (Chris Miller), a representative of the match fixing enterprise, come up with a plan to circumnavigate the problems, especially as a newshound, Gabe (Janine Penfold) is onto the story/scandal for publication. There is further complication when the unsavoury Hugh seduces Royce's sister.

Mr Naylor on turning to writing for the theatre has mostly succeeded in the ten minute format. (Crash Test Drama and Short and Sweet). Mr Naylor's strength appears to be with his control of the dialogue between characters. There are many short and snappy scenes with dialogue of an entertaining interest. However, in this longer format of the full length play (this is not his first) the requirement for a more motivated backstory and sustained logic for the actions of the characters over a 90 minute arc of storytelling is where, ultimately, the play fails to gel.

The performances elicited by the Director, Michael Block, are well drilled if not fully mined for a three dimensional exposure of the foibles of the protagonists. Ms Penfold gives the best of the performances.

THE GLOVEMAN, is a fledgling exploration in the long format of the play by playwright C.J. Naylor, and, as yet, it is, relatively, underdeveloped.

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