Friday, 22 July 2016

Extinction, Red Stitch Actors Theatre and Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Playhouse, Canberra Theatre

A four-hander about environmental protection and the rational and irrational passions that drive us, "Extinction" should, by rights, be a fairly engaging, thoughtful piece. But it doesn't quite get over the line - partially because the characters never really stray too far outside their cliche, partially because the arguments seem a tad stacked, and partially because the entire evening feels just that little bit underpowered.

Colin Lane is the biggest name in the cast, and he may be part of the problem. He's a very nice guy in a role which possibly needs an actor with a bit more mongrel, a bit more go-and-get-it, a bit more, well, sex appeal. Of the rest, Natasha Herbert scores best as the character trying to balance pragmatism with passion - she often feels like the only grown-up on stage, frankly. Brett Cousins gets a lot of sympathy-drawing devices into his character but never really escapes the sense that he's also a tad self-righteous, unbending and a dick to pretty much everybody around him. And Nagaire Dawn Faire feels exceptionally dumb for someone who's meant to be a research scientist - she's a sentimental nincompoop who spends a lot of time wandering between two men, neither of who feel particularly charasmatic enough to draw the attention.

Nadia Tass's direction is kinda perfunctory, and David Parker and Daniel Nixon's video sequences that act as set-and-scene-change-breaks start out interesting but become rather repetitive montages.

I'm possibly sticking the boot into this more than it actively deserves - I did find bits funny and there were a couple of moments where dramatic sparks seemed about to fire. But as a thinkpiece that manages to get shallower the more you think about it, this ended up being a somewhat unrewarding experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment