MUFF– Bakehouse Theatre – Til May 25 – 3K

44415_578074988884081_1871859481_nBy Peter Maddern

30 something Tom (Brad Williams) sits between two women who covet him but whose positions about sex are almost polar opposites. Eve (Claire Glenn) is a former girlfriend who saw her relationship and sexual appetite for ever changed after being raped in a pub by an unknown attacker. She is back from two years in China and keen to show Tom she has regained her touch. Manpreet (Serena Moorghen) similarly aged to Eve in her mid / late twenties is into anything that may be categorised by the word fetish. Inhibitions are not part of her DNA and everything seems inevitably aimed at sexual satisfaction. How lucky is Tom to be caught between these options!

This play written by Australian Van Badham after her return from a decade in England heavily reflects the theatrical scent of that country of the past 20 years. It revels in the notion that merit is a function of the shock created and her audience is spared no shortage of sex acts, nudity and violence to hammer home her points.

dsc_6827Claire Glenn takes on the most formidable challenge of the three players and does an admirable job, swinging and swaying between the hurt and challenges of her rape and the need to get back into the scene, to present herself as eligible for guys like Tom before it may be considered too late. Bitter and sweet, demoralised and energised, Glenn takes us on a convincing emotional ride juxtaposed not only against the instincts of Tom but the rapaciousness of Manpreet.

Myf Cadwallader’s staging makes good use of moving screens mounted on wheels though the precision with which the makeshift shower is placed and adjusted (or indeed used at all) all seemed somewhat unnecessary. But a real highlight was Chris Petridis’ lighting, giving great effect to the metaphor of the opening bathroom scene through to keeping the electricity of the relationships pumping along with strobing fluoro lights. His skills picked up through gigs with the likes of ADT are on full show.

Violent, shock theatre will appeal to many and for others it is a style that hopefully will disappear from view more quickly than it lasted. But it is fair to say the challenges taken on by the fivepointone team have been well-handled and this, clearly, is a company SA theatre goers will wish to keep close with.

Kryztoff Rating    3K

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