Review: COGITO at La Mama

You think, therefore you’ll like…

By Anastasia Russell-Head

This play is intriguing. Two women, dressed almost identically, stand on a minimalist white stage and declare:

“My name is Katherine Lee.”

“My name is Katherine Lee.”

Which one is Katherine Lee? Are they both Katherine Lee? And what is that heart doing in a clear perspex box suspended above?

Originally written for the Singapore Arts Festival, the themes and scope of Huzir Sulaiman’s play Cogito are reminiscent of a short story.

There is an element of sci-fi in exploring the concept of artificial intelligence, but it is essentially a human story about loss, grief and reconcilliation.

Kristin Keam and Suzy Cato-Gashler were both strong as the two on-stage Katherines, with Cato-Gashler being particularly convincing in the role. Newcomer Frank Handrum was excellent as the dour, efficient lawyer, Lex.

It was unfortunate that the excellent cast and script were let down by the spacing of the production.

The audience were situated “in the round”, with the result that much of the play was spent looking at the back of the actors’ heads and trying to decipher what they were saying when it was directed at the other side of the room. I

n addition, the superb voice-over provided by Glenda Linscott was compromised by poor EQ-ing, and was often too boomy to be able to understand clearly.

Visually the production was quite successful, despite the spacing issues. The lighting was very effective, and the special effect moment towards the end (I won’t spoil the plot for you!) was quite stunning and unexpected.

Sit on the side next to the entrance door, prepare to be intrigued and slightly confused (in a good way), and enjoy the talents of some excellent seasoned actors in this little futuristic “short story” of a play.

 

Cogito by Huzir Sulaiman

La Mama Courthouse

February 9 – 19

Wed, Fri, Sun 8:30pm

Thur, Sat 6:30pm

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