THEATRE – The Lake – By Fivepointone – Holden Street – 3K

SMA Kryztoff banner Nov 13 100dpiBy Peter Maddern

Fivepointone is a progressive Adelaide theatre group that possesses some of our best young performing arts minds and talent.  In their productions one can almost sense a tension between its members as to who can push the boundaries the most and yet keep a harmony in the production.

The Lake certainly lives up to that reputation where director, Edwin Kemp Attrill and designer, Mandy Webber, team up to cleverly use the Arch at Holden Street, presenting it in a dilapidated state, requiring audience members to almost climb over debris to get to their seats. Then they are separated on either side of the stage area and the dusty, dark, cold setting for the play is cleverly made real through Lighting Designer, Chris Petridis, having patrons carry and use small torches to illuminate the players. It has a very real sense of light squeezing through old nail holes in corrugated iron into an emptiness.

Matt Crook gives another strong performance this time as Karl, a pedantic man, a stickler for the ‘permissions’ and one who, with his slightly Germanic accent, is consumed by a cold regard for human life, especially one he feels may threaten his own. Brad Williams as Joseph, is excellent as his foil, one more keen on pragmatically solving the issues in order to get out of their dilemma.

The problem with The Lake is Ben Brooker’s play itself. It’s not that it is bleak or bereft of humour (which it is not); it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The meaning of Patrick Frost’s appearance as ‘the Man’ just gets lost in later scenes and just what so much stuff that goes on adds to the story is often a mystery. There was also a certain cognitive disconnect between the cold that the players were feeling in their bodies and the mostly blaisé concern they possessed for their exposed fingers and toes.

I would like to have enjoyed it all rather more, especially given the support, through a Pozible campaign of so many generous sponsors, the names of which are listed in the program. But The Lake is what it is, a challenge, but certainly it is worth seeing to catch up on how so much of Adelaide emerging arts’ talent is applying itself.

Kryztoff Rating   3K

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