Tag: Marika Marosszeky

REVIEW: Sly Rat Theatre Presents FOREIGN BODIES

Erotic, evocative and engrossing

By Amy Planner

Foreign Bodies is the newest production from Sly Rat Theatre Company, director Chris Baldock, and playwright Andy Harmsen. This seductive yet confronting look into the lives of two mismatched people tells tales of allure, disdain, political turmoil and self-discovery.

Foreign Bodies

The mood is set as you snuggle into your Indian cushion on the floor around the small intimate stage. Dim lighting, Hindi imagery and exotically draped fabric surround you and the stage. There is nowhere to hide in this theatre: the actors are within touching distance and the room is intensified.

Andy Harmsen’s script is concise, intriguing and psychologically charged, dealing with severe issues with a graceful intelligence and authentic fearlessness. There are a few elements of the story that seem to only be present to validate other unnecessary components, which detracted only slightly as the candid snapshot into the hidden truth of the sex trade overshadows any minor faults. The political circumstance was a little unclear, but under the direction of Chris Baldock, the force with which the play builds to its climax is so incredibly powerful and almost unnervingly real.

Hamsen also deserves props for sound design, which creates a true atmospheric representation of Mumbai and the hustle-bustle of the culture, which translates powerfully into the intensity of the story as realised on stage.

Sly Rat co-artistic director Alan Chambers features as the bumbling journalist, alongside the sultry stylings of Marika Marosszeky. In the unforgiving and exposing space, the performers make no excuses as their emotional journey radiates through the audience. The pair are to be commended for their willingness to be so vulnerable on the stage.

Marosszeky bares her all, both emotionally and physically, giving everyone a intensely honest look into a totally dishonest world. Chambers felt a little unsteady in the beginning, but really held no punches when he settled in to the role. The duo prove themselves to be refreshingly genuine and superbly gifted.

Victoria Haslam and the cast use costume and makeup techniques that bring real depth to the characters and the setting. The sheer sweatiness of Chambers’ character in the opening was unbelievably convincing.

Foreign Bodies is funny, confronting and altogether engrossing for the audience. This production promises to challenge your boundaries and bounce off your curiosity – it truly does.

Venue: The Owl and Cat Theatre, 34 Swan Street, Richmond

Season: 23 October – 31 October

Bookings: http://www.trybooking.com/155361

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REVIEW: Sly Rat Theatre Presents THE MARTYRS

Holy horror and humour

By Myron My

The Martyrs is the first production by new company Sly Rat Theatre that looks at religion, the church, and its scandalous history of child sexual abuse and pornography. Despite the heavy themes, it somehow manages to create a great balancing act between being horrifying and humorous.

The Martyrs

There was however an unfortunate feeling of general miscasting between the actors and the characters they were portraying except in the case of David Ryan Kinsman as Pastor Mike Foster, the zealous and energetic leader of the ‘Earthquakers’ who really jumped in and let himself be enveloped by the role. Another notable mention would go to Marika Marosszeky who played the adult-porn writer Valerie with great conviction.

The inclusion of a Jim Henson-esque ‘horror’ puppet as Chloe Barker was an intriguing decision. The collaboration of puppeteer (Cameron Powell) and voice actor (and producer Jennifer Piper) was very charming and humorous to watch. The swap from puppet to human was also an interesting idea which worked quite well. In contrast, the use of the clucking chicken-like anti-pornography group as an ongoing metaphor did pull you out of the show, and the narrative could have done with a little more clarity in direction as at times, as the plot did get rather too confusing and abstract for a truly enjoyable performance.

Ryan Hodge’s lighting and set design was very impressive. Throughout The Martyrs, scenes were lit in delicate degrees of brightness and shadow, playing with the idea of good and evil, light and dark, and sex and religion. The scenes that really stick in my mind are those where the actors are only seen as dark silhouettes and thus creating a very powerful impact. It was great to see the stage fully utilised and the performance being brought out into the audience: also, having us sitting in makeshift church pews helped to further create a strong connection to the themes being played out.

The Martyrs is a very ambitious first production by director Alan Chambers and writer Andy Harmsen and because of the strengths mentioned above and despite the issues noted, they have ultimately created an entertaining and reflective piece of theatre.

Venue: Revolt Productions, 12 Elizabeth Street Kensington, 3101

Season: Until 16 March (except 11th) | 9:00pm, Sun 2:00pm

Tickets: $28 Full | $25 Concession

Bookings: http://revoltproductions.com