Monday, May 23, 2011

Construction of the Human Heart

fluidity of assemblage

The Backspace Theatre, Hobart .
As part of the Tasmanian Theatre Company’s Associate Program

Grief and the death of a small child are not easy subjects to broach at any time, and I must admit to sometimes feeling uncomfortable during the performance of Ross Muellers award winning play Construction of the Human Heart at the Backspace Theatre last Friday night (June 13). But while it was a brave choice of subject for this new Hobart-based ensemble it was also a delight to experience such a skilfully-directed and subtly-performed version of this cleverly-constructed very modern play.



With two actors onstage throughout, they are known own only as Him and Her.
Both are playwrights, reading a script, stepping in and out of that action as if in rehearsal. Slowly the relative safety of the scripted drama is neatly injected with the realities of their unravelling lives and relationship until the wall between the two worlds dissolves.

Whilst grief is a palpable character in this emotionally charged drama, it is also interspersed with moments of humour and insight, delivered with great joy by Anna Freeland and Matthew Stolp .
So, just as the quite Pinter-esque domestic claustrophobia builds to breaking point as the couples sparring spirals out of control, beautiful visual moments and memories of their son break through from the outside world like proverbial rays of sunshine to save us all.

I congratulate this new ensemble on this tightly worked piece of theatre and hope to see more from them soon.

Gai Anderson

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