With its central male character undergoing an ever-deepening crisis, Sunday resembles Company more than a little. Here, however we centre on Georges-Pierre Seurat as he struggles to complete his pointillist masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
He must contend with a lover, his patron, his family, but mostly he finds himself wrestling with the blank canvas, or blank page. It’s stunning how the performances pull the themes together and up through time and space. What was a fine enough sentiment in Being Alive is made deeper and more artistically rewarding with Move On.
Sarah Tulloch’s set, a sparse stage in front of an enormous picture frame, was terrific whether there was one performer holding our attention or all of them. Nick Simpson-Deeks was fantastic as George, playing an artist who is vulnerable, passionate, and curious.
Vidya Makan was wonderful as Dot and Marie, her final duet with Nick with Move On a tremendous and moving end to the show. Both were supported by a wonderful cast who delighted regardless of whether they were wandering through the park in the first act, or through the gallery in the second.
Directors Dean Drieberg and Sonya Suares, along with Musical Director, Ned Wright-Smith fashioned something marvellous with this year’s offering of Sondheim. With such a short season, when Watch This return next to Melbourne, be sure not to miss out.
Sunday in the Park with George
Lawler Theatre – Southbank Theatre, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Performance: Thursday 22 August 2019 – 7.30pm
Season: 21 – 24 August 2019 (closed)
Image: Sunday in the Park with George – photo by Jodie Hutchinson
Review: David Collins