I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Brave new work from The Owl & Cat Theatre
Last night I visited The Owl and Cat Theatre in Richmond to preview 'The Binding', a play written by Martha Loader, and directed by Ruben Allender Clark. This play is part of The Owl & Cat Theatre's "Pill" Season 1 2016 and plays until 5 March.
The protagonist "Annie" is a female university student who faces an unexpected life decision. In her distress she turns to female writers like Sylvia Plath to examine her own beliefs about relationships, matrimony and children. Her older sister admonishes Annie for considering alternatives, as she yearns for marriage and motherhood whilst Annie finds her partner's supportive manner too traditional and confining.
As a result Annie becomes fascinated with death and re-birth and to understand the experience regularly attempts to drown herself in the bath.
The jewel of this performance is the direction and synergy of the four actors. The ensemble performs 'theatre in the round' so the audience can experience the story from different perspectives. The work is highly polished both in the acting, interpretation and writing and worthy of a mainstream stage.
It's raw, it's human, it's bare bone minimalist theatre at its best, and what I'd like to see more in the Melbourne independent scene, and in the Major Performing Arts venues too.
The black box theatre resembles the wardrobe that leads to Narnia, or the secret door to Tom's Midnight Garden. Venues like The Owl and Cat Theatre are the birthplace of independent theatre and hothouse of new work and need to be supported. It's a hard slog in independent theatre these days, running a venue is expensive and building a dedicated following involves delivering quality work with little or no budget with the knowledge that no one in the production may never earn a dime. So come down to The Owl & Cat Theatre and experience the menagerie of fine story being created in this unique establishment.
I am so thrilled to hear that you had such a positive experience. The Owl and Cat is a brilliant little theatre and it has been a pleasure to work there. You mention the synergy of the actors, and I couldn't agree more. They are four highly talented and intelligent young performers, and I will watch their careers with an avid interest.
Thank you for supporting independent theatre.
Ruben Allender Clark
Director - The Binding
(Thomas Ian Doyle is Artistic Director of the Company, and curator of the Season)