DEPEND ON THE KINDNESS OF DANGERS

26/07/2010 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

A COUPLE OF POLISH SPEAKING ROMANIANS

presented by Focus Theatre, July 2010

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I wouldn’t recommend picking up any hitchhikers along the way. But I would recommend this biting take on the woes and wherefores of taking candy from strangers in Eastern Europe, ending up god knows where and possibly never to return. The twisting roadways of the plot are a joy to unfold, in the episodic structure you never know quite where you’ll end up next, or even if you’re heading in the right direction. It’s so wonderfully confusing to be lost sometimes.. and it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. Right? Well I suppose that all depends on who you’re stuck sitting next to along the way.

Behind all the slapstick and poetry of the performance there’s a keen metaphor about cultural identity happening; when you get a rare moment to reflect on the frenetic race down the wintry highways of wherever the hell they are – it’s clear there’s an external dialogue happening here about the shift in nationhood following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Not that Poland was ever strictly in the confines of the USSR but writer Dorota Masłowska has clearly grown up from a region that is in the process of redefining itself between the old and the new. So we’re given a crash course on the politics of identity (ok bad choice of words); from the base level of the power dynamic inherent in class and racial interplay, gender and sex, all pouring out in the form of sparkling dialogue and delivered with impeccable dryness of wit and conviction by the ensemble cast.

There are hints of Gogol, Godot, Withnail (and I), The League of Gentlemen – all the hallmarks of the farcical, modern and absurdist brands of humour. Extremely bleak and yet wickedly funny, riveting and achingly painful. Bring Vodka.

A Couple of Polish Speaking Romanians plays at the Newtown Theatre until August 7th , 2010. Directed by Alice Livingstone, featuring Mairead Berne, John Keightley, Kim Knuckey, Neil Phipps, Sandy Velini, Cheryl Ward.

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Entry filed under: Inside Theatre REVIEWS, Sydney THEATRE. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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VICTOR SANCZ vassanc [AT] gmail.com

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