Rocket Man

Rocket Man
By Paul Gilchrist. Subtlenuance Theatre Company. Director: Paul. Gilchrist. Producer: Daniela Giorgi. Designer: Rachel Scane. Tap Gallery East Sydney. 4-14 July to 2013

Blind Anger Tasted

Sydney Indie theatre stalwarts Paul Gilchrist and his partner Dani Giorgi have created their thirteenth production in five years and Rocket Man delivers a powerful blast of passion, disappointment and anger.

The story takes place over 65 minutes in one continuous scene in Veronica’s squalid bedroom. After a heated night of sex Veronica and Neil face off in the harsh illumination of morning. Neither likes what they see; she’s a self-possessed thespian bursting forth to audition for yet another forgettable or unobtainable role and he’s an emotional vampire on the prowl for another victim to deplete. She’s a vain teen at heart and he’s an angry child. They may have shared bodily fluids during their short night of passion, but they do not possess any maturity or empathy.

Flatmate Claudia is the embodiment of maturity, she’s a triage nurse in a hospital emergency. But her life too is emotionally deficient. She is continually exhausted and has little time and no care left over for her lover Justin, who’s locked into a perpetual state of anxiety and inaction. They are like a hunter and prey, but she’s lost the ammunition to put him out of his misery. So, like an urban tale from Woody Allen, we experience four people who are dazed and confused and only half-heartedly seeking love and fulfilment.

Then the Rocket Man blasts off and carnage ensues!

The acting is engaging and the players well cast and matched. Sylvia Keays again brings subtly and nuance to this company’s work, Daniel Hunter has the power to achieve the necessary lift off into explosive anger. Stephen Wilkinson delivers a nuanced performance as the emotionally pallid Justin. And Alyssan Russell is outstanding as the professional carer who no longer cares about her friends.

The simple, yet effective, production values and styling compliment the delivery of this interesting and powerful universal tale. The only mystery was the fuel for Rocket Man’s explosive anger. This left me a little dazed and confused.

A good night’s entertainment from an energetic and creative company.

Stephen Carnell

Photographer:Zorica Purlija

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