Buy the ticket, take the trip
By Christine Moffat
Transit is a story about travellers being thrown together by chance and trying to stay together on purpose. This hour-long production for Midsumma Festival tells the stories of three young Australians living abroad, but it is also the universal story of the first taste of the ‘foreign’. The three Aussies learn that sometimes travel is difficult, sometimes it’s sublime, but it’s always life-changing.
The show, devised and written by Troy Nankervis, is based on interviews conducted with travellers he met whilst travelling himself in the UK. The result is a script with sections that are a little undramatic; perhaps these sections follow the interviews too faithfully. That being said, most of the show is interesting and touching, and ably performed by the three actors.
Ewan Whittle is amusing and surprising as the slightly disconnected Tyler. Ella Di Marco is very watchable in her stage debut as Nicole. Ezel Doruk who plays Kieran, also does well with difficult task of playing several small characters that help the story flow.
The overall style of this production is a slightly stilted mix of naturalistic and stylised elements. I much preferred the stylised elements. For example, director Cameron Stewart created a great series of silent tableaux performed during monologues with the non-speaking actors. I think the two styles would have combined much more successfully if both elements were heightened.
Everything is there in this show, but when working from real life, writers and directors often feel that dramatising will take away from the truth. However, this is theatre: I think that Nankervis has a knack for finding the important stories, and should give himself permission to ‘crank up’ his script so that more is at stake for the characters.
I believe that if the script had a little more bubbling beneath the surface, and the production smoothed out its style choices, this show has the potential to be challenging and moving play. As it stands, Transit is a great piece of new Australian theatre, and an entertaining 60 minutes promising great things in the future from all involved.
Dates: Sat 23 Jan – Fri 1 Feb, 7pm
Venue: Studio Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park, Cnr Graham & Pickles St, Albert Park
Tickets: $22 /$17 Conc