No Man’s Island
Brussell @ Kiosk Lawn, Botanic Gardens
2:00pm, Thu 7 Mar 2002
Short Review: Competent
On a gorgeous autumn day (puffy clouds on a bright blue sky, light breeze tossing newly-fallen leaves), my arse was parked on a tarp in the middle of the botanic gardens to see this performance, put on by a group out of the University of Ballarat.
Penned by Ross Mueller, “No Man’s Island” takes place within the confines of an anonymous prison cell – the surrounds of the Botanic Gardens made me feel like it was a Cambodian prison camp. After an introductory frantic bout of madness, we find two men, Rob and Tim, at various stages of emotional disrepair. Throughout the play, there is the constant feeling that the characters switch between their “strong” and “weak” personae; one character may be acting as an emotional crutch for the other character in one moment, but the next moment sees them effectively switching roles.
Andy Delves is brilliant as Tim, both the strongest and most vulnerable of the two characters. The repetitive music used sparingly creates a unique, brooding atmosphere, but I’ve got a feeling this would be much better seen at night (rather than 2pm on a sunny day).
In short, this was a competent – though somewhat abstract – psychological piece; worth a look if you’ve got a spare gap in the schedule.