It’s An Earthquake in my Heart

It’s An Earthquake in my Heart
By Goat Island. University of Melbourne – VCA (Vic). Studio 45, Dodds Street. Director: Robert Walton. Set design: Alexandra Hiller. 25 October – 1 November, 2013

Real-life implications of calamity are central to It’s An Earthquake in my Heart, which confronts with the uncomfortable question, “What would happen if you had not come home last night?” And the follow-up question, “Are you afraid?”

It’s a boots-and-all piece this one. The third year company of VCA students, together with production students from all three year levels, are clearly invested in this production. This is most revealing at the high point of the evening when performers make heart-felt reference to their own personal calamity.

The audience was seated on all four sides of the performance space, the floor painted with basketball court lines. Above the court an American flag made with plastic cups.

Goat Island’s rehearsal process is touted as a major legacy to twentieth century theatre practice, ‘decentralising authorship away from one individual towards the collective ensemble’. This approach we are told also ‘includes room for multiple audience responses’, and yet as an audience member I felt quite disconnected from this production.

Too many visual stimuli were lost on me, leaving me disengaged. But by far the greatest obstacle is this play’s length. Two hours and twenty minutes is a long time to sit without a break.

Beyond some compelling acting and interesting dialogue, I’m afraid I just didn’t get it.

Lucy Graham

Image: Members of Company 2013, 'Its An Earthquake In My Heart' by Goat Island, Adapted and Directed by Robert Walton, VCA Contemporary Plays Season 2013. Photo: Jeff Busby.

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