[2010032] Death in Bowengabbie

Death in Bowengabbie

Tamarama Rock Surfers @ The Tuxedo Cat – Rooftop

6:15pm, Sun 21 Feb 2010

I absolutely adored Death in Bowengabbie last year; it’s one of the few shows that I recommended to people before the Fringe started, and something that I’ve continually been telling people they should see. Because – quite simply – it is that good. I convinced Gareth (the choreographer) that it was a brilliant show, and well worth his precious time; Irene reluctantly came along as well.

And you know what?

Everything I said before still stands.

And, if anything, it was even better this time: I noticed the suitcases being used as headstones. The great characterisation of Rasputin, the Tasmanian devil. The impact of the father’s suicide on the story.

It’s a magical piece of theatre, wonderfully sparse and economical and perfect in its presentation. It still speaks to the small-town country boy in me, and it’s just one of those experiences that feels like it wraps me up in a coddling mist of descriptive delight, leaving me drawn and deliriously happy at the end of the performance.

So imagine my surprise when I look to Gareth as we walk out, raising my eyebrows in a so-what-did-you-think? kinda way… and he responded with a hand-waving “meh” gesture, followed by a quick escape. And Irene, whose taste has proven to be mostly compatible with my own thus far, responded to my excited inquisition with a wrenching “the Titanic song at the end was the best bit,” followed by “I found the character too cold to be able to connect with.”

Oh my.

Could I really be so wrong about this? Have I completely misjudged the quality of Bowengabbie not once, but twice?

Ah, fuck it. It’s all opinions, innit? And, truth be told, I’d rather people see Death in Bowengabbie and think I’m a nutter, than not see it at all. Better to have loved and lost, and all that.

…go see this show. Bloody brilliant, it is.

2 thoughts on “[2010032] Death in Bowengabbie”

  1. Interesting. I had mixed feelings about this one. It won me over in the end but I did feel there were some bumps along the way. Slight issues with believability (within the strange little world he created). I can understand your friends’reaction, but in the end I was more than willling to look past the quibbles and give in to the pretty sweet little piece of theatre that Bowengabbie was. (I saw it at The Old Fitzroy in Sydney last Thursday).

  2. Hi Lee, thanks for commenting :)

    As I think I posted when I saw Bowengabbie last year, the combination of growing up in a small country town that leached its young, and being a massive fan of Twin Peaks, made the vision of the town of Bowengabbie feel… well, believable to me. It’s still a bone of contention between Irene and myself, though ;)

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