Dora Abraham’s Laundry Shoot! ambitiously tasks itself with investigating the mundane in a post apocalyptic world but falls short in creating any kind of world building for the average and everyday to occur.
The narrative interweaves three character arcs around the same event, something more than likely akin to an explosion or war, but that is not clearly defined. In the aftermath, each character struggles to keep on going to find their place within this new world and confront the horrors of their past.
Abraham’s script struggles between expertly written dialogue and character interactions and the inability to give a sense of purpose or meaning to the text. At times the work feels far too over thought for its own good – an idea that just doesn’t quite live up to the hype of the marketing blurb or the creative intention.
Keegan Bragg directs the work with a heavy hand, squeezing out each moment until very little tension or purpose is left for the audience to follow or digest. With very few stakes to begin with, Bragg allows the work to drag with uneven pacing, minimal character development and a reliance on sound and lighting to progress and enhance the story.
Damon Baudin, Vitoria Hronopoulos and Marco Lawrence give wonderfully focused performances, each with an impressive command of pathos and comedic timing. With very little character dynamics from the text, each performer utilises the merger offers to infuse the narrative with much needed humanity and connectivity with the audience.
Ethan Hunter’s sound and Iz Zettl’s light designs lift and drive not only the narrative but the creative focus of the work. Both designs create time, place and momentum lacking in the script and direction while adding substance to Max Bowyer’s sparse set.
Laundry Shoot! is not a bad work nor a reflection of the artists involved, rather it is a prime example of an idea that petered out long before it reached the stage.
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Performance: Wednesday 10 January 2024
Season continues to 13 January 2024
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Laundry Shoot! – photo by Alex Winner
Review: Gavin Roach