Night Slows Down

Night Slows Down
By Phillip James Rouse. Produced by Don’t Look Away Theatre Co and bAKEHOUSE Theatre Co. Director: Phillip James Rouse. Kings Cross Theatre, Sydney. 17 November – 9 December 2017

Here’s a play about the drowning of a capital city via Global Warming hurricanes, the mass shooting of workers and the end of civilisation as we know it. It runs for 75 minutes and has but three characters, one of which is in custody (‘arrested and detained pending further investigation’) for most of the action. This is a first play from excellent director Phillip James Rouse so let’s forgive him his Orwellian excesses. It’s pretty good.

Sharon (Danielle King) is in love with Martin (Johnny Nasser) but her rascally brother Seth (Andre de Vanny) is violently opposed because Martin is from Lebanon. This would be too bad except that Seth, in a T-shirt that proclaims ‘FOR THE FUTURE’, is highly ranked in the movement about to take over the city. In a wink he is suited up and getting Sharon, who knows a thing or two about drains under cities, a government job as Head of Civil Infrastructure.

This is easier to accept as a play than in encapsulated form and the three actors go at their roles with a will. It’s well directed, Sharon and Seth have a tremendous fight towards the end, and the world ends (Beware Trumpian Leadership). Particularly impressive is Danielle King as the unfortunately named Sharon.

Phillip James Rouse runs a tight ship and does the Sound Design as well — in this case a quite brilliant array of noises that blend seamlessly with the action.

The two-sided design, a feature of the Kings Cross Theatre, is by Anna Gardiner and Martelle Hunt. It’s not their fault that I got a well-lit view of the couple in the opposing front row fondling while Rome (or wherever) burnt.

Frank Hatherley

Photographer: Ross Waldron

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