It's not always easy to know whether a middling theatre experience is due to taste - one woman's meat 'n all that. Sometimes you also have to wonder whether your ever-so-slight disappointment is anything other than the fact that your brainfogged noggin with its cotton wool interior has made you a bit stupid this evening. Or perhaps you are indeed stupid. But let's not go there.
It's not that I thought this play was bad, or that it didn't provoke thought, or that the performances were shoddy, It's just that I was left with wondering whether there was not only something I'd missed due to my own neurocrap but that there was something lost in translation, in the first Australian production of this tragicomedy by Ukrainian playwright Neda Nejdana.
This is an award-winning play. As A Suicide of Loneliness, it was one of the 120 best contemporary European plays in 2012 according to the European Theatre Convention. It explores deep themes like alienation, suicide, love, deception, all with a shot of humour, On the top of a city roof we meet She (Elizabeth O'Callaghan), dressed up from a night on the town and planning to throw herself off (or is she)? But she's not alone. He (Kristof Kaczmarek) is there before her, with his own reasons for being up there and accompanied by a gun and a dead body (or is it?) Also accompanying them, living their own parallel roof-lives, are two cats (Dawid Kaczmarek and Suhasini Seelin) waiting for Rudi, who never quite turns up. The show goes through twists and turns, questions and spins, as we question modern alienation and separation.
I guess ultimately, though there were laughs and charm, the term tragicomedy feels a little like a long bow for me, and though it was an enjoyable experience with a bunch of twists and turns I was ultimately left with a paranoid feeling that maybe there was something that I missed. But hey, like I said, maybe that's just me.
The show opened on 11 July and runs Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm, Saturday matinee at 2pm, Sunday matinee at 5:00pm