Monday, May 12, 2008

Review: Colder

Saw this on Saturday night. Slightly different version of the review comes out in Drum tomorrow.


I love it when you know almost nothing about a play but you go along to see it anyway, and at some point during the performance you feel kind of grateful that circumstance brought you here.

Inspired by the disappearance of Simon Knight in 2005, Colder tells the story of David and his various relationships over one lifetime and two disappearances. He first goes missing while at Disneyland at the age of seven for about seven hours. He is reunited with his distraught young mother but something from that day lingers and haunts. Later in life, in his early thirties and living on a diet of drugs, casual sex and the possibility of love, he goes missing again and we witness the impact the vanishing of a loved one has on those left behind.

What stood out most for me was the writing. I want to read this script because there are moments when it has the honesty and rhythm of poetry. Mostly, poetic narrative and gritty, very real dialogue slip together seamlessly. The two disappearances a lifetime apart are played out simultaneously and seeing the young boy, the man, the young mother, the middle aged mother, the friends and lovers and the fleeting sexual encounters all together in their different worlds with their different expectations made for a very poignant experience.

Colder is a fine piece of writing with deft direction by Katrina Douglas. With time frames slipping back and forth as they did, there is the potential for confusion, but there was none. There was subtlety in the acting from Dianna McLean as the 59 year-old mother as well as sharp character changes from Megan O’Connell who switched from solid lifelong friend to comical Disney staffer quite impressively. Matthew Walker as David, Jamie Irvine with his various characters, Catherine Terracini as the 33 year old mother and Nathaniel Scotcher as left-behind lover were all very good. So good that in spite of knowing where the story was going, more than a few punters were leaning forward, chins in their palms, completely engrossed.

Even I, with my cold, walnut-sized brain, was moved by this play and the often overlooked reality it portrayed. To most of us, missing persons are a headline or a poster on a wall. It’s a harsher reality to those closer to the missing.

Go see Colder. Like me, you’ll be glad you did.

At SBW Stables Theatre Darlinghurst until 24 May.



Kathryn said...

Sounds like a good play. I went missing at Disney World when I was 8. It wasn't much fun.

Also, you do not have a cold, walnut-sized brain. Walnuts are tasty, though.

quick said...

I thought it was a good play. I've read a couple of other less enthusiastic ones. It could probably benefit from some tightening in parts, but overall I thought the good elements outweighed the bad.

Walnuts are tasty and are kind of brain-shaped.

Y said...

Sounds interesting! On a similar note, I like when movies I know nothing about, surprise me.