An exuberant, bouncingly joyful play about finding love, life and letting go of dreams.
Director Damon Lockwood brings his expertise working with puppets, comedy and whimsical narrative to successfully shape this delightfully engaging tale. Working with a strong script, skilful technical support and talented comic actors, Trampoline is a perfect dream for creators and audiences alike.
Matt has dreams. So many incredibly real and vivid dreams that he can’t stop himself from sharing them with everyone he meets. After years of social awkwardness and difficulty coping with a life that includes random visions of air snakes and slide spiders, he sees a therapist, who monitors his dream journal and sets him personal challenges. More than his therapist, the arrival of a new neighbour, Kelly, brings direction and order into his chaotic existence, filled as it has been with the plaintive strains of Kenny G, odd socks and cowboys delivering unexpected pizza.
Shane Adamczak as Matt gripped my attention throughout, as he used his long-limbed, slender build to create memorable physical comedy that resonated strongly with his rapid fire, earnest delivery of some fantastic lines. In her alternating roles as Dr Vangillies and Kelly, Amanda Woodhams lit up the stage with her expressive reactions to Matt’s weirdnesses. As the therapist, her responses were well-measured and came with a side serve of dry humour, creating a clear distinction with her sweetly sad portrayal of quirky Kelly, gradually revealing the many aspects of a strongly-developed character. Ben Russell took his utility parts in stride, mastering the quick change and effectively working puppets into the action. His use of accents to distinguish between bit roles was far from subtle, but very entertaining and worked well. Russell’s comic timing was impeccable, especially as he had no character development or context to support most of his seemingly random outbursts, or his touching insight into the loneliness of a pizza delivery boy.
Technically, the show seemed simple enough, but only because everything worked so smoothly, only ever enhancing the performance, a credit to Louise Wardle’s stage management. The perfect timing of lyrics of “background music” to inform and interact with the fast-paced, comic delivery of the actors was spot on every time, but never so intrusive as to seem gimmicky. The costuming was wonderful, allowing Woodhams and Russell to quickly change but still well-chosen to not just distinguish each part but also add to character development. The puppets were delightful, and the choreographer of Matt’s special dance moves deserved a separate round of applause of their own.
Short, sweet, quirky, produced with passion – Trampoline has all the elements that demonstrate why The Blue Room Theatre is such a vital part of Perth’s cultural milieu.
4.5 stars out of 5
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre and Weeping Spoon Productions
Writer/Producer/Graphic Design: Shane Adamczak
Director: Damon Lockwood
Performed by Shane Adamczak, Amanda Woodhams and Ben Russell
Venue: The Blue Room Theatre, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge
8-26 October 2013
Image via The Blue Room Theatre website