When creating theatre, you can have all the bells and whistle’s money can afford, but you got nothing without a good story line and of course, a bit of depth never goes astray. Breed, thankfully is one such work that owns strong narrative, believable characters and delivers tension in spades.
Directed by Jd Ness, Breed is a gritty story about the violent and blood thirsty reality of dog fighting that centre’s around a family involved in the ‘sport’. Father fresh from prison, mother desperate and controlling, daughter questioning and desperate to escape, and their son with a disability – that’s just the half of it. The contempt each character holds towards each other builds as their back-stories are little by little painted in, until the final scene, which erupted from nowhere and left audience’s reeling.
This work was able to transcend the physical parameters of Owl and Cat Theatre, by the way in which Honor Wolff, Pat Moonie, Jennifer Monk, Oliver Bailey and Damian Vuleta delivered their lines with such gumption it automatically transported you to some seedy part of England. At times it felt as if you where watching an episode of The Bill or East Enders, but this is so much better, who needs TV, when in Melbourne, on any given night of the week you can stumble upon works such as Breed?
Greater attention to detail could of helped refine Breed, there are some issues such as the transitions between scenes- at times clunky and a little noisy, using a through line such a music or sound could of offered remedy, It would have been great to also see a little more in terms of lighting, though a naturalistic work, perhaps some red or even a splash of blue thrown into the mix would of provided greater visual interest.
In saying this, Breed is if nothing else, a well rehearsed, perfectly performed, and well directed piece of theatre. Post show discussions where heated amongst audience, their reactions perhaps the most telling critique of this show.
It’s these sorts of works, and venues such as Owl and Cat that are pivotal to our local arts scene. Providing at a grass roots level, up and coming performers, directors and produces the blank canvas from which to create, the performance is reminiscent
The Owl and Cat, 34 Swan Street, Richmond
Season continues to 30 May 2015
For more information and bookings, visit: www.owlandcat.com.au for details.
Image: Breed – photo by Eadie Testro – Girasole
Review: Jessi Lewis