Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Trustees at The Malthouse

Home > Melbourne > Performing Arts | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne and happy to spread the love for funky town with the WeekendNotes readers.If the feeling is mutual you can subscribe to my articles or share them with your friends.Or visit my website at diywoman.net.
Event: -
Who is meant to have an opinion in modern Australia?
Trustees, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne International Art Festival, Belarus Free Theatre
Image via Malthouse website


Presented as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival, Trustees begins with a fairly simple premise a debate between equals, questioning whether government funding in arts does more harm than good. But what begins as a robust discussion turns into something completely different over the course of the play, the change coming slowly at first, then all at once. The future of the fictional Lone Pine Theatre Company becomes mired in our pasts, with hundreds, if not thousands of years of cultural and emotional baggage weighing it down.

At the core of Trustees is its strong ensemble, a collective of theatre-makers who created this piece in collaboration with Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre. Devised theatre always asks a lot from actors, requiring them to interrogate themselves and their performance in new and unusual ways - and the creation of Trustees must have been more challenging than most. As the piece progresses, its artifice crumbles away and all we are left with is the actors themselves. Performed in the round, audience members may at times feel like they are missing something a face turned away, a monologue delivered somewhere towards the other side of the room. But there is always something to keep you engaged, even if that means watching the faces of your fellow audience members. This is not a show that allows its audience to remain passive in their seats it engages with spectators in several different ways throughout, and if the idea of audience participation makes your blood run cold, Trustees will definitely be a challenge.

Trustees' simple production design allows the piece to shift seamlessly between its several incarnations. Romanie Harper's set design is reminiscent of so many boardrooms and community halls, making it all the more unsettling as its set pieces are transformed and revealed. The changing performance space is aided by Amelia Lever-Davidson's lighting design and Jethro Woodward's sound design, both of which are subtle but very effective.

Trustees is a performance that doesn't seek to answer our questions instead, it looks inwards, to its collaborators and performers, and waits to see what kind of questions emerge. It asks us who we are listening to in this country, and who we are choosing to ignore. And finally, it asks its audience to look inwards as well what are you afraid of hearing? Maybe it's best you don't answer that.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  10
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? A provocative look at the Great Australian Silence
When: 28th September - 21st October
Where: Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt Street Southbank VIC 3006 Australia
Cost: $35-$72
Your Comment
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions