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Tom Gentry & IKAG Productions bring Nocturne to life
In American playwright and novelist Adam Rapp's play Nocturne, Adelaide actor and director Tom Gentry's done what many of us mere mortals could never achieve: vividly bring the script to a harshly real life.
Tom is 'The Son' at age 32 who from his sparse New York City apartment, takes the audience back to the moment in his life where the pages turned for the worse - the accidental decapitation of his 8 year old sister by the then 17 year old Son as he drove his 1969 Buick Electra home from work, only to have his brakes fail close to home, with his sister coming into its path to a traumatic death which The Son later describes as suicide.
Actor and Director Tom Gentry crafts the monologue of the narrator (The Son) who rebuilds his life in New York City where he gets a job in a bookstore and soon becomes part of a literary circle - attending regular poetry readings where he meets a red haired green eyed girl who helps him get his novel published "on the first read".
Nocturne is a monologue of 1 hour and 40 minutes which is why it is such an achievement for Tom as the sole cast member. Combined with moody lighting by Stephen Dean and The Son's recounting of his tragic circumstances enhanced by the sounds crafted by Adam Sheridan, IKAG Productions have brought Nocturne to its Adelaide premiere at The Bakehouse Theatre which, due to its intimate setting is the perfect venue for this one-man play. The set does justice to the context - a bookshelf and coffee table full of novels by writers such as Stein and Hemingway, a settee, a desk with an Underwood typewriter and the grieving Son.
The Son connects the audience with the elements of grief and challenges of forgiveness, letting go and moving on. Through his narrative, the audience bears witness to not only the destruction and struggles of The Son but his whole family, as his mother becomes clinically depressed and is institutionalised and his father succumbs to terminal illness. Throughout the grief are moments of light and hope, as The Son reminisces about his beloved Steinway which his ailing father still houses in his tiny unit.
Structured like a novel, Nocturne is played out in four chapters and an epilogue which allows for The Son to stage the audience through the past 15 years of his life experiences.
I honestly appreciated being an audience to The Son's journey - I enjoy reading and due to the literary content, I feel Nocturne would be perfect as an audiobook (narrated by Tom Gentry in his perfect American accent).