23 June 2011

Review: The Subconscious Cometh

The Subconscious Cometh
Baggage Productions
21 June 2011
Trades Hall

One of my biggest fears is finding out what my subconscious is really up to and Baggage Productions have a whole night of short plays and monologues that bring these fears (and some bonus phobias) to gorgeous, thought-provoking life.

Bridgette Burton and Christina Costigan formed Baggage in 2000 because they were sick of there not being enough decent roles for women. This is still one of the most ridiculous ironies about thearte and performance and thank the goddesses that companies like this address it.

The Subconscious Cometh is a collaborative piece with works by Costigan and Burton, directed by Burton, Steve Gome, Wayne Pearn and Shannon Woollard, and performed by Costigan, Tiffany Davis, James Deeth, Kelly Nash and Dan Walls. Working together, this talented team have created a themed and cohesive night that is more than few steps above other recent short play seasons.    

Highlights include Spirit Guy (Burton, Woollard, Deeth and Walls) that asks if watching your ex with their new naked beau is considered stalking if you're a ghost, The Changeling monologue (Costigan, Pearn, Walls) that delicately looks at the impact of mental illness on the father of a suffer, the highly original scene changes and a hilariously unforgettable ending.

Neither writer is afraid to tackle subjects that are close to them and, combined with their terrific understanding of drama and structure, they create a warm and close empathy with their audience. And they love the characters they create. What might take their writing to a new level is to hold onto that love, but to let even worse things happen to their characters. Up the stakes even higher to make your audience fear for the well being and safety of the people they too now love and the resolutions will be even stronger.

Independent theatre like this is created from the hearts of the people making it. It's not perfect, but it's this kind of experimentation and the opportunity for creators to get themselves and their work seen by an audience that creates artists that we want to see again and again.

This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com

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