THEATRE REVIEW: The Old Fitzroy Theatre - Vigil

THEATRE REVIEW: The Old Fitzroy Theatre - 'Vigil' the latest work showing at The Old Fitzroy Theatre is by Morris Panych, Canadian playwright, director and actor.
THEATRE REVIEW: The Old Fitzroy Theatre - Vigil
Vigil the latest work showing at The Old Fitzroy Theatre is by Morris Panych, Canadian playwright, director and actor. This black comedy is both hysterical and tragic, with moments which make you laugh out loud and moments when you can’t help but laugh out loud, although you feel you shouldn't and it’s disgraceful to do so. The two characters, Grace played by Gertraud Ingeborg and her nephew, Kemp played by Travis Cotton are able to hold the audience’s attention while you intimately enjoy their conversation and interactions within the confines of The Old Fitzroy Theatre space. Kemp receives a letter from his aunt telling him that she is dying. He immediately drops everything to be at her bedside. What’s to follow is a journey of two lonely souls, finding some comfort in one another. Kemp is a disturbed individual whose emotional baggage makes it difficult for him to be close with anyone emotionally and physically. What comes next are a series of interesting perspectives on life with an unexpected turn to ensure a good laugh and chuckle at poor Kemp’s dreadful situation. Gertraud Ingeborg has been acting, directing and producing plays since 1986 and has had many lead roles in Australia and also overseas in Italy and in the United States. This year Vigil is one of three productions in which she will star. Others include, Hamlet and Streetcar Named Desire which will tour New York and Washington. Travis Cotton is no stranger to performing at the Old Fitzroy Theatre having featured in This Blasted Earth and The Fifth at Randwick One Thumb Out. Cotton has also performed in other productions for BSharp, Griffin Theatre Company and The Store Room. The director, Susanna Dowling who is currently the International and Community Officer for PlayWriting Australia, did an outstanding job at ensuring a well thought out dialogue and interaction between the characters and the audience takes place. You are not only watching but are transported with Kemp into the situation he is in. The set makes great use of the small space. The pieces of furniture create the typical scene from what you would expect to be the possessions of an elderly woman. The transitions from scene to scene are smooth and although the scene changes are subtle, that is all that is necessary to keep it involving and interesting. Producers Hector Ortiz and Karen Martin have pulled this intense piece together well. Vigil is as confronting as it is funny. Themes such as death, the meaning of life and existence and what it means to be lonely are all dealt with in a candid manner with sinister thoughts from Kemp on ways to kill and the clear impact a less than desirable childhood can have on a human being. Vigil presented by Spirithouse Theatre Company and Tamarama Rock Surfers is a play for those who love a good black comedy and are not quick to raise a hand to the mouth when something shockingly awful, yet strangely funny is said. PERFORMING ARTS REVIEW: The Old Fitzroy Theatre - Vigil Tickets: $29 Adult, $21 Concession, $35 Beer+Laksa+Show Plays: Tues-Sat 8.00pm, Sun-5.00pm Venue: The Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo Start Date: 10th of March End Date: 28th of March Duration: approx. 90 minutes, no interval

Katie Preston Toepfer

Tuesday 17 March, 2009

About the author

Katie Preston Toepfer is a writer, photographer,short film maker and installation artist and is currently working in PR/marketing while studying her Masters in journalism. She has studied Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts,NSW University obtaining a bachelor of fine arts majoring in time-based art. Katie has also studied photography at the National Art School. She has exhibited and sold photographic work at Burl Gallery and has had works in many exhibitions at both COFA, Kudos and Pine Street Galleries. Katie enjoys making short films and has had screenings at various galleries in Sydney including having one film screened at the Newtown Flicks Festival in 2006. She also loves performance work and has performed at La Franchis. Currently Katie is an event photographer for a social media website and in her current place of work writes informational blogs for visitors and has recently scripted and directed three short video works for a current promotion. She has started her own blog and continues to exhibit her artwork and write pieces of fiction as well as poetry.