floogle @ Tea House Gallery (Synagogue Place)
8:00pm, Sat 25 Feb 2006
The first thing I noticed after climbing the stairs to the Tea House Gallery was that there seemed to be a family-and-friends-type gathering for the opening night of the Black Crow Lullabies, put on by young local group floogle. Sometimes this sort of event can generate a tense atmosphere; tonight, however, there was only feelings of goodwill and happiness.
Which was at total odds with the Part 1 of the Lullabies, “one long night in the land of Nod”. Focusing on the plight of two estranged brothers, there was an immediately identifiable country-ness to the performance and set. The troubled conflict between the brothers is also evident in the first fifteen (count ’em) profane utterances. Actually, “utterances” is completely misleading – they are literally spat at each other.
The script is wonderful, with wild swings allowing the audience to alternate their perception of which brother is “good” and which “bad”. The set reminded me of the kitchen in my Hughes Street childhood home (which, whilst not on a farm per se, was still in the country), and the acting was earnestly spot on: William Allert’s somewhat smarmy Kane versus Patrick Graham’s perfectly pitched “other son”. The end-of-show lighting, in particular, was superb.
And there’s not too much else that can be said about this piece without giving “it” away; suffice to say, this tale of diverging lives and converging fortunes is a corker.
(See also Black Crow Lullabies (Part 2 & 3).)