Roadkill Confidential is written by award-winning playwright Sheila Callaghan (That Pretty Pretty; or, the Rape Play).The title of this play conjures up visions of dead animals in mysterious places. This is true to a point, in this morbidly funny and thoroughly entertaining play directed by Michael Dean. Produced by Lies, Lies and Propaganda(Danielle Baynes & Michael Dean) in association with KXT bAKEHOUSE.
The Kings Cross Theatre is located on the second floor. The entrance is a bit dark and mysterious, ideal for its first live theatre. The foyer was buzzing with an eclectic group of guests, eager for the play to commence.
The play is an interesting one and at times confronting. Exploring the narcissistic qualities that exist in all of us, the numbing effects on society of daily news and the brutal aspects we are exposed to.
As the guests take their seats around the intimate space, some of the cast members start to form rhythmic gyrations of sorts, surrounded by hanging shards of plastic. At first you are unsure what this means, but once the play is in full swing, you later understand the message depicted.
Trevor is a conceptual artist played by Alison Bennett. She exudes an ill-mannered artist persona, intensely brooding, showing levels of eccentricity and narcissistic self-absorbed importance, fitting her as an artist. Her time is spent absorbing the violent news of the day, finding a recent news item that spurs her to create a new art installation of utmost secrecy. Alison's performance as Trevor, is solid and engaging throughout, exposing layers of her egotistical nature - leaving the audience with the portrait of a self-obsessed woman who puts the importance of her own art above anything or anyone else.
Trevor the artist played by Alison Bennett - image credit - Emily Elise
Trevor's roadkill sculpture, though not seen yet by anyone, could also be considered to be an instrument of biomedical warfare, which in turn attracts the attention of Government agent (Michael Drysdale).
Michael Drysdale plays the Government Agent - image credit - Emily Elise
Michael Drysdale plays the obsessed government agent. He is neither a bad person nor a wholly altruistic one as the play eventually proves. He becomes so obsessed with Trevor's unsavoury tendencies, eventually shedding his own psychic layers, which ultimately stirs his own malady of discontent. This in turn influences him to make an irreversible decision. His own eccentricities are vibrantly exposed as he investigates the possibilities that Trevor's Roadkill Art might be a cover for a weapon of germ warfare. Or is it just his own obsession with the macabre and his imagination ruling him. Michael Drysdale delivers a hurricane - like performance of brilliance from beginning to end as one of the main characters.
Trevor's partner William/Doctor is played by Jasper Garner Gore. He is suitably bespectacled, fuzzy looking Doctor/ Professor who is generally optimistic, jovial and at one point breaks out in a good rendition of 'Don't worry be happy' with a good Jamaican accent. His character fits the portrait of the befuddled doctor and shows elements of comedic brilliance.
Jasper Garner Gore plays the Doctor - image credit - Emily Elise
Nathaniel Scotcher plays two characters, the initial bed partner of Trevor and later as the stepson Randy. His performance as the stepson is achingly raw, displaying elements of his mental instability with bipolar characteristics of hyperactivity and an overinflated belief that he also will have a part in being famous in the name of art. Nathaniel portrays his characters with a compelling energetic delivery.
There is also the neighbour Melanie, played by Sinead Curry. This character is exuberantly portrayed with innocence and frustrating naivety. Her fascination with the artist Trevor will be her undoing. Her character has all the charm that every seemingly innocent naive female has, though a little ditsy. You will wonder is this just her alluring tenacious personality or a facade for a purpose. Sinead Curry nails this performance and is very entertaining and visually engaging.
Director Michael Dean has seen the potential in the small space offered by the KX Theatre and has overseen all the creative and technical elements with precision. Managing the plot, cast and set with skill, enabling the scenes to flow effortlessly under his direction.
The small stage is managed well by Amy Green surrounded by tiered seating, creating a sense of intimacy with the characters. The scenes are enhanced by different light exposures by Richard Neville and Mandy Lights, suitably dim and bright when required to produce the desired noirish effect for each scene and news flashes. Benjamin Garrard is creative with mercurial elements of sound. The characters' costumes have been designed by Catherine Steele. Movements and scene changes are directed with unified balance by Amanda Laing, who uses the versatility of the set with joyful abandon. Photographic Images captured by photographer Emily Elise have highlighted the dedication of each actor in absorbing their characters. The combined efforts of the team result in a compelling multi-disciplinary hybrid of theatre.
The script flirts with comedy from beginning to end, while still portraying noir elements and delving into the dark corners of the human psyche. It begs the question of what part does art play in our society- is communication today an art form or is art a way for hindered personalities to communicate?
This show will be running from 11 November until 28 November. Click here to book your tickets.
The short video below will give you a peek of the new space at the Kings Cross Theatre. KXT bAKEHOUSE look forward to bringing more exciting productions to the Kings Cross Theatre.