Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures_James Terry Photography_reviewDrawing its inspiration from Cell Block Tango and Orange is the New Black, Blue Saint Productions present the world premiere of Guilty Pleasures –  a one-woman show, telling the story of five ordinary people driven to the act of extraordinary violence.

Written and directed by Joshua Robson and including original music written by Hugo Chiarella (lyrics) and Robert Tripolino (music), the creative maturity of this trio is impressive, and pleasing to know that the development of new Australian work is in very good hands.

Presented in The Loft and sitting at roughly 45 minutes, Guilty Pleasures is simply staged with some furniture and a variety of various-sized suitcases, accentuating the period of somewhere in the early 1900’s with beautifully stylised costumes. Underlined with plenty of black humour, each of the five stories are poised with sadness and hope, and a heady mix of love, loneliness and desperation.

A finalist in the 2013 Rob Guest Endowment Award, each of the women are played by Angelique Cassimatis. A triple-threat in the making, she handles the material with clearly defined characterisations, transitioning each vignette with ease. With the occasional nod to a Broadway musical, Amy Campbell’s choreography compliments each vignette with much style and grace.

Robson’s words and direction is smart and economic, combined with Peter Amesbury’s effective lighting, the use of a four-piece band (Joel Conrad, Barney Reiter, Thomas Doublier) under Tripolino’s musical direction and David Browne’s impeccable sound, makes for a very fine production.

The presentation of a new work can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions for any seasoned creative team, let alone a new company. So full credit must be given to Blue Saint Productions (Joshua Robson and Damian Bermingham) for the delivery of a very consummate production.

Some recent offerings presented at Chapel Off Chapel have frankly been hit and miss, and quite disappointing. Blue Saint Productions have risen to the occasion with a clear commitment to quality, presenting a nicely structured work, which I hope will continue to develop with further opportunities.

Guilty Pleasures
The Loft – Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Performance: Thursday 9 October 2014 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 12 October 2014
Information and bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or www.bluesaint.com.au

Image: Angelique Cassimatis in Guilty Pleasures – by James Terry Photography

Review: Rohan Shearn

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