THEATRE – Long Tan – Brink – Space – 3K

longtan-900x600By Peter Maddern

Brink Productions has a proud history of producing new and challenging works in big bold styles. Long Tan is another of that ilk with its long narrow stage covered in rubber, impressive steam and smoke effects and an audience wired for sound. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well as theatre.

As repeated one-person shows at Fringe time at Holden Street (and elsewhere) show, less is sometimes more and this year’s offerings of Angel, Eleanor’s Story and The Girl Who Jumped From the Hollywood Sign are most recent examples where great stories are told in a minimalist style.

Verity Laughton’s work would well suit a re-enactment and interview style documentary on the History Channel but in this environment too many characters, too much military jargon and some poor castings make the whole thing somewhat soulless; the only soldier we can develop empathy for is that portrayed mid production by Nic Krieg but unfortunately by that time he is already dead.

Chris Petridis’s lighting is a highlight with Luke Smiles’s soundscape excellent as well. The aforementioned Krieg, Mémé Thorne and Chris Pitman do well but like battles and war themselves much of the others’ characters were lost in the fog.

Kryztoff Rating   3K

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