[20040059] Dark Paths

Dark Paths

Budgie Lung Theatre Company @ Fowler’s Live

12:00pm, Fri 5 Mar 2004

Score: 8

Short Review: Abrasive… in a good way

After being impressed by Budgie Lung’s ff2002 performance, Swallow This!, I thought I’d give this a go too. A collection of three stories, this was confronting stuff.

The first piece, Nil, saw Rachel Paterson play Karen, the “other woman” in an affair. Carrying both a shattered heart and a shattered mind, she turned in a performance very much like Glenn Close’s Fatal Attraction – but without the bunny-killing. Equal parts love, hate, joy, sadness, superiority, venom, Karen convincingly flipped between her bi-polar states on her way to total annihilation. An impressive start.

Then Cat (Michael Finney) appears for a raw, explosive and profane burst. Whilst I approve heartily of his mandate of cat-hate, his abrasive monologue – addressing the perpetrator of a heinous act – is unrelenting in its aggressive derision of the recipient, homogeneity, and cats.

The final act, Buried, is a belter, with Nick (Finney) helping Candy (Paterson) bury her child. A portrayal of manipulation and weakness (“You know your problem? You’re weak and pissy”), this act gathered steam to a wonderfully climactic finish.

Heather Frahn provided (frankly) sensational music throughout all three performances – creating a sinister backdrop, uneasy tension, or impact effects as required. Her singing voice was also striking, whilst providing a distraction between the second and third acts. As with Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Casey Van Sebille’s set design was both functional and elegant – and the lighting was superb throughout, casting ominous shadows upon the back wall at Fowler’s at emotionally appropriate moments.

Briefly – well worth seeing. Another success story for Budgie Lung, and long may they continue.

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