Taking theatre to the streets
By Myron My
Written and directed by Angus Cameron, Chiasmus is an original production presented this month by Four Letter Word Theatre in the unexpected ‘theatre space’ of an underground parking lot.
Chiasmus begins in a quite structured manner with the actors confined to performing in a large outlined white square, but by the start of the second act things are going outside the square – metaphorically and literally. The actors are suddenly very self-aware: they begin talking to the audience and using the whole carpark for their scenes, and the foundations of the play itself become unpredictable.
James Gand-Hunt (Otto) and Eva Tokkola (Hannah) are both confident in their roles and appeared the most comfortable with their characters on this preview night. Sean Paisley Collins, although obviously talented as evident in previous productions I have seen, is however miscast as The Man. On this night, he just couldn’t quite seem to deliver the evil and sinister side required for the role.
Cameron’s direction was strong and used the space effectively to create a dark hostile environment. There were however quite a few moments where the actors are away from the audience and shouting over each other, and this made key dialogue incredibly hard to hear due to the echoing acoustics in this performance space.
There were sensitive topics brought up in the narrative such as abortion and child abuse but I don’t feel they were developed enough. With such a lot going on already in this play, if such issues are to be tackled they need to be explored and brought into focus rather than introduced flippantly.
Chiasmus does a great job at keeping us interested in what is happening and the hard work that Four Letter Word Theatre has put in to this unusual theatre experience is evident. Cameron stated he’d like to make his work an “even more polished, fully produced show” and I will be very interested to see this play reincarnated in a more measured and developed form.
Venue: Collingwood Underground Carpark, 44 Harmsworth St. Collingwood.
Season: Until 30 June | 7:30pm, Sun 6:00pm
Tickets: $15 Full
Bookings: email firstname.lastname@example.org