Company c NaNa @ The Promethean Theatre
5:30pm, Tues 7 Mar 2006
After Llysa Holland pointed me in the direction of Nicola Gunn‘s production in 2004, I’ve added Company c NaNa to my “must see” pile. And so, on opening night, I’m amongst the good-sized crowd to see her latest production at the (sadly, soon-to-be-auctioned) Promethean Theatre.
As with Tyrannous Rex, this is a massive, multi-character exposition. With just a flat stool for a prop, Gunn leads us through the tale of three main characters – lovely story, twist ending, and just all-round good theatre. Her ability to, with just a raised eyebrow or cocked wrist, make you believe that she’s a completely different character (or gender, or animal) is incredible.
The problem is that Gunn was perhaps a little too ambitious with this show. Like Tyrannous Rex, it’s impeccably performed – her actions are gorgeous, every movement filling in detail. And there’s 19 characters… though admittedly, some (like Puddles the bulldog) are only used sparingly for comedic effect. Now, she can handle the characters easily – but the audience can struggle tracking characters (especially when hurtling through the ancillary characters at the Registry of Births and Deaths).
And yet, it’s still compelling viewing – the level of craft involved is staggering.