The walls are down at Red Stitch with a fascinating production in Colder. Fragmented from moment to moment, in and in-between scenes, Lachlan Philpott’s script ambitiously wrenches open the bottomless pit of every parent’s worst fear – losing their child – and dives right in for a look around.
What plays out is an intriguing kind of emotional spelunking as two differing narratives play out alongside each other. Sometimes in opposition, sometimes in concert, we watch the mother in the past from the moment her son David slips out of sight, while also following David – now an adult – and his life years from then.
Playing the younger version of David’s mother, Marissa Bennett pitched her performance just right, as did Charles Purcell in the role of David as an adult. Brigid Gallacher also did lovely work playing Kay (not-to-mention an unsettling take on Disneyland’s senior staff).
The cast do their absolute best to make things coherent. Director, Alyson Campbell, builds scenes geometric for the most part – using lines and symmetries help the audience keep their bearings through what is not as easy text. But, it doesn’t have to be. One of Red Stitch’s hallmarks is their exploration of theatrical forms and storytelling. Colder isn’t without risk, but there’s also reward.
Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Performance: Sunday 18 March 2018 – 6.30pm
Season continues to 8 April 2018
Information and Bookings: www.redstitch.net
Image: Ben Pfeiffer, Caroline Lee and Brigid Gallacher feature in Colder – photo by Teresa Noble Photography
Review: David Collins