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It's about the bits of life that shape the way we find love
I believe that TBC Theatre are determined to set themselves apart from the crowd. Starting with the venue for their very first show 'Love Play', performed at the Mission to Seafarers' Norla Dome; it was a perfect backdrop supporting the ten scenes in this theatrical performance.
Mission to Seafarers on 717 Flinders street, Docklands. Photo: Eamon Gallagher / Image courtesy The Age
If like me, you have never been to the venue, you could get lost, or not see it as you fly past in the dark with traffic surrounding you. Set your GPS to find Siddeley street, Docklands (off the Docklands Highway) and you will be facing the Mission to Seafarers building. The car parking lot is around the building, through some wire gates and at the back. It will cost you 7 dollars for the evening.
A warm welcome from Jessica ~ a lady who brings text to life as an actor and designer; and the director Stuart Duffield
Directed by Stuart Duffield and performed by 8 actors (Trudi Boatwright, Luke Cadden, Michelle Myers, Fleur Murphy, Jacob Pruden, Chris Saxton, Myles Tankle and Kathryn Tohill) over 90 minutes who portray over 30 characters; as an audience you will be totally absorbed and drawn into the performance. This is not only because of your close proximity to the actors, but because of their strong performances and the exquisite un-waivering expressions on their faces that tells the story emotively. I however did find the seats a bit hard on my bottom and had a bit of a numb bum (am I allowed to say that?), but nothing unbearable.
Be Aware ~ this show contains nudity and sexual themes. Set in London on the same small square of land, it moves through time with the change of each era cleverly announced by the ticking of a clock in the background. We fly through Scene 1, The Classical Age - AD 79 through to Scene 10, The Age of Excess 1992, seamlessly. The scenes are cleverly thought out and changed with each passing era by the actors who simply covered pieces of furniture not relevant to the next scene without missing a beat. The bare exposed brick wall of the Norla Dome seemed to fit in as the perfect setting for every abode in which the ten tales of human seduction takes place.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole 90 minutes of great performances, directed by a man who left no empty spots in the telling of the tale. Stuart as the director was insightful in his execution of this piece, and has set a benchmark for future shows with this launch of his directorial style with TBC. I smiled at lines of 'shitting in the woods like a human being' and laughed at a woman who would just not shut up. I was in awe of poetry being recited without faltering and taken by surprise when I was not expecting it, as to how some of the tales panned out with a twist.
You will bear witness to 'love for sale', but who really gets the better deal?; hidden desires that are sometimes reined in and restrained, yet in some cases long hidden then discovered. Secrets, jealousy, deceit, the inability to say those three little words ~ oh wait, that sounds like the beating of those tangled webs we weave in our search for love and lust. I shall say no more, but I hope I have whet your appetite enough to go and experience for yourself this surprisingly great night like I experienced. A very enthusiastic crowd who obviously enjoyed the performances as I did, brought the actors back on stage for an encore with the loud and thundering clapping of their hands.
Though each and every actor executed their performances impeccably, their talents undeniable, three actors stood out for me. I loved Trudi's expressions and those big beautiful expressive eyes that evoked emotions in you and had you in its grip. I loved Michelle's chameleon-like quality in every role she played where she lost herself to the character and you didn't feel like you were just watching the same person playing different parts, and I thought Jacob was the perfect person for every role he played, and not just because he laid bare his talent for all to see, as you shall witness.
I am already looking forward to TBC's next production in partnership with the National Trust of Victoria in October called 'Shadows of Angels'. Yet another unique venue; The City Watch House. I love this trend TBC is setting. I almost feel like I'm going to a secret 'underground' party, that only the exclusive few are invited to. Kinda special.
Love Play is on till the 20th of July. If you are looking for a great night out with a wonderful show and amazing performances thrown in at an unusual historic venue, and a chance to mingle with the actors themselves who come out at the end of the performance, you can click here. Go to the bottom of the page where it says 'I want to book tickets' for bookings and more information.