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September 1, 2008 | by  | in Theatre |
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Over Exposure

Over Exposure is a series of three one-act plays. It’s not easy to direct an entire half-hour play in roughly one month. Trust me, I’ve done it before and it seriously kicks you in the arse. Yet as always, this year’s first batch of THEA 304 students have risen to the challenge and produced three excellent and engaging works.

In Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong, director Rachel Baker exposes her wild femininity through three haughty barbarian women who crash, bang, frolic and stomp about the stage, throwing cheeky winks at the audience and engaging in generally uncivilised behaviour. The women spit apple, poke out their bums and perform a precocious three-way fantasy-orgy on the floor. It’s pretty exhilarating stuff.

Baker makes good use of Jo Randerson’s script, transforming what was written as a monologue into an ensemble piece which is never lacking in energy. The three performers, Ally Garrett, Stevie Wildewood and Eleanor Wooten, bring to life the dormant barbarian which lies within all of us. Equipped with marvelous bosoms which I’ve never quite seen the likes of, the trio work together seamlessly. Banging Cymbal, Clanging Gong was an explosive beginning to a great night.

The next show, Edward Albee’s Finding the Sun, was a funny yet melancholic examination of sexuality and relationships. Directed by William Donaldson, the play makes good use of Studio 77’s back space, with the theatre-in-the-round facilitating a much appreciated intimacy and connection to the characters. Albee’s script calls for balanced and able actors, which this production supplies in abundance. Each actor is well-suited to their part and commits honestly and skillfully. My main criticism is that the show is too short, and I look forward to seeing a full-length production directed by Will sometime in the near future.

The evening’s final show, Fewer Emergencies was, all said, masterful, yet it was certainly the kind of play which lends itself to being seen at least twice. Director Claire O’Loughlin foregrounds the search for and questioning of meaning, resulting in a piece of theatre which is very challenging to read (in a good way). Where Donaldson’s show pulled us into the theatre event, this one sets us adrift of it by seating the audience in isolation from one another and locating the actors on an island of newspapers. It all points to the individual’s search for sense and sensibility in a society that forces us to understand the world through the experiences and stories of others. I think. At any rate, it’s a fascinating production.

Don’t miss your chance to see the next group in action, performing from Wednesday to Saturday this week.

Over Exposure
At Studio 77
August 13 – 16

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