brilliantly crafted: funny, flawed and a little bit weird.
Triangle | Review
Shu Shu Zheng | ArtsHub
30 July, 2012
✭✭✭✭ | Four Stars
MKA THEATRE: Sometimes being dead makes you more alive than the living.
The latest in MKA’s Winter Season, following on from Tuesday and sex.violence.blood.gore., is Glyn Roberts’ Triangle. Shortlisted for the 2012 Patrick White Award, this play about the relationship between a vampire and a mother may seem like just another addition to the tiresome vampire genre, but here the genre elements are used to explore much deeper issues.
Set in North Fitzroy, Triangle is presented as two seemingly unconnected monologues. The Student, played by the enchanting Elizabeth Nabben, fixates on her undead/vampire state while The Mother, played by Janine Watson, is fraught with resentment towards her husband and life. Once their stories start to cross over, the sense of time and form start to blur as the plot doubles into multiple dimension. One story is almost absurd and very macabre; the other is less gory but equally intense. These story lines are fractured and tossed around, but it’s not confusing. Rather, its ambiguity compels you to listen and watch more intently.
Roberts’ characters are brilliantly crafted: funny, flawed and a little bit weird. Their monologues are descriptive without being tiresome and allow enough room for your imagination to paint your own picture of the unfolding story. Both Nabben and Watson are mesmerising on their own, and supportive as a team. However, Nabben slightly outshines Watson, only because The Student is a more captivating character.
At times, the play becomes very serious, but Roberts breaks this up abruptly with moments of punchy humour, successfully preventing the play from taking itself too seriously. Roberts’ use of humour resonated well with the opening night crowd; however some of it could wash over those unfamiliar with North Fitzroy’s many characteristics and celebrities.
The soundscape is most impressive. Russel Goldsmith does a great job setting the chilling atmosphere with his eerie, booming compositions. The most resonant moment in the show is when The Mother, in a manic state, starts peeling the mats off the ground. The squelching sound the mats make are chillingly similar to what can only be imagined as the sound of a body being disemboweled.
Triangle is a very enjoyable and enthralling play that adds a good twist to the overdone undead genre. It is a cleverly crafted production without any superfluous embellishments. Highly recommended for anyone who likes a good chuckle with their gore.