immature and disappointing

— REVIEW of ‘Triangle’ | The Age

Triangle | Review

Cameron Woodhead | The Age
27 July, 2012

MKA is hot right now. It is making fresh, genuinely exciting theatre, and its last two productions – Louris van de Geer’s Tuesday and Alfian bin Sa’at’s sex.violence.blood.gore – showed the company’s innovative vision in selecting new work and its skill in staging it. Triangle, alas, left me cold.

Glyn Roberts’ hyperlocal, supernatural spree is set in North Fitzroy, between Edinburgh Gardens and Piedimonte’s supermarket. It focuses on a student living in a tree in the park (Elizabeth Nabben) and a self-absorbed mother trapped in an unhappy family (Janine Watson). The story bifurcates: one strand glimpses inner urban alienation, the other is a lurid lesbian vampire fantasy.

Roberts’ script betrays an insular whimsy that lacks the precision and imaginative daring to excavate what lies behind the facade of this gentrified inner-north suburb of Melbourne. Nor does Triangle do much, ideas-wise, to justify its use of the vampire genre.

But it is the voices of the characters – which routinely display the verbal mannerisms of a hipsterish, young white straight man, than women or vampires – that I found most problematic. If Triangle were more aware of itself as a heterosexual male’s penchant for girl-on-girl action, this wouldn’t be an issue. No such luck.

It’s a shame. Almost every element in Tanya Dickson’s production is cleverly realised: the statuesque use of space, the expressionist shadow play of Rob Sowinski’s lighting, and performances that rove from camp drollery to discomforting intensity.

Perhaps if the show had embraced a more outlandish and irreverent camp aesthetic, it might have been better. Compared with much other work MKA has staged this season, Triangle is immature and disappointing.

“immature and disappointing”