Brighton Fringe 2008
Sleeping Rough: A Duo of Dialogues
Venue: Upstairs at the Three and Ten 24-25th May 3pm
"If you like gritty Aussie film, you’ll love these violently poetic, visceral, funny Australian plays."
This play is not for those wishing to shut away all that is wrong with the world. Typically Australian, this was a straight talking production with no ‘softly softly’ approach to the hard-hitting subject matter.
The first dialogue, Break In, centres around Cam and Julie, drug addicts sitting on a park bench. As they flit in between talk of buying chips, sex and the prospect of breaking in somewhere for quick cash it becomes evident that this depiction of a soulless and desperate addiction is the simple truth of drug addiction. The dialogue hardly includes talk of their habit, it was blatant in their fidgeting and unease; there was no time to lament on the topic. While this was an interesting production that offered up a steep learning curve it was not clear what the audience was supposed to feel for these literally destitute characters, sympathy, anger or sorrow?
Night, A Wall, Two Men was the second dialogue, based on two homeless men that meet at a wall every night. It was original and staged brilliantly. Seemingly, by the end of this short piece they almost come to depend on each other. The old Irish man was captivating, as he shuffled around the tiny theatre in his oversized anorak, and the sweat dripping off him it was clear that he taken on the character wholly. The image of a dimly lit back alley was easily conjured up as the director held up a torch, which cleverly indicated a new night, position or discussion, but created a dingy environment.
The two performances were united in style by the dialogues, both moving rapidly between topics and both desperate in tone. With the homeless piece, it was easy to feel empathetic toward the two lost men; there was no feeling of this kind for Break In. Perhaps that was the point, why would you feel sympathetic for a pair of drug addicts? Or should you? These pieces certainly raise some vital questions.