17 February 2010

Review: The Pyramid

The Pyramid
Three to a Room
7 February 2010
Northcote Town Hall

Independent producers Three to a Room continue to find perfect casts, encourage intelligent directors and present scripts that remind us why we go to the theatre.

The how-to-write books talk about bringing yourself to your stories and using your own experiences, and too often the subsequent writing reads like student political publications or shouts limited opinions to the converted or those who will never be converted. Then the playwrights wonder why anyone dares call their work boring.

Reading playwright Siobhan Colman’s program notes, The Pyramid appears as a very political work about social expectation and the violence so sadly inherent in many queer communities.

However, there is nothing in her work that shouts, bores or preaches. She brings personal experience and the experiences of her friends and community to the stage, but uses these tales to create a story with emotion and empathy that reaches far beyond its subject matter.

Her plot is original and told with a cleverness that catches its audience off guard. It’s told through three monologues. There’s Jack (Don Bridges), who got to sleep with his first love for 20 years and is happy to see the world on the television; Kate (Felicity Steel), who never lied to her husband about her first love, but he never asked the right questions; and Pete (Mick Lo Monaco), the Scotty terrier whose lust for the butch neighbourhood dogs is only surpassed by his loyalty to Kate. Each has its own tone and Aimee Blesing’s direction delicately guides the revelations that gradually reverse the audience’s sympathies, without detracting from the early experiences and empathies.

There’s obvious craft, skill and passion in Coleman’s writing, but ultimately The Pyramid is engaging and original theatrical story telling.

It’s also her first play. If this is what she’s writing for her first attempt, I can’t wait to see what she does next.

This review appeared on AussieTheatre.com.