[20060027] Low Level Panic

Low Level Panic

Maiden @ Bakehouse Theatre

6:00pm, Wed 1 Mar 2006

Score: 4

Ugh, I hate writing this. Or rather, I hate writing things like this. Where a production has only the best intentions in mind, where it has an important message to put across, but is… well… unenjoyable.

Low Level Panic deals with the pressures placed on women by society, examining the various sources – media, expectations borne of others, and just the very fact of being female. All very noble, to be sure; but the script is a let-down.

The initial back-and-forth banter between two characters over the improbability (and impracticality) of pornography was dry and stilted at best, and the following social conundrums that followed were tedious in the extreme. The re-enacted rape of one of the characters, however, was the kind of powerful, punch-to-the-face theatre that makes one shift to the edge of their seat; surely this would be a turning point to the production?

But then we return to the banality prior to the flashback; whilst we now have more understanding of the characters, it feels like such a theatrical let-down. “Turning point”? More like “sharp spike”.

It’s a shame, really – Maiden are obviously a talented bunch, and the cause is utterly noble and righteous. All the good intentions in the world won’t overcome a limp script, however; and that’s a shame, because that two-minute emotional assault-and-battery in the middle is that good.

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