The Pitchfork Disney

6 Dec

Children dream of adulthood and adults dream of childhood. Which goes a long way to explaining the popularity of children.

In Philip Ridley’s very funny, very sophisticated black comedy, two adult siblings remain as children. They have allowed themselves to become frozen by fear.

“Don’t you realize how easily horrible things can happen?” warns Haley, played with a delightful mania by Jessi LeBrocq.

It’s sometimes suggested that love is the opposite of fear. She is too afraid to love, we say.

But what about our love of fear?

Cosmo Disney, played with a riveting blend of charisma and disdain by David Malloy, states the issue plainly: “We all need our daily dose of disgust”.

The play has some astounding monologues and the cast handle them magnificently. Brett Johnson, as the gentle Presley, both fascinated and repulsed by his recurring nightmare, is particularly engaging.

Recurring motifs slide in and out of Ridley’s language, and the effect is mesmerizing.  One motif, that of a snake, slithers through the play, becoming more ominous each time it raises its malevolent head. It’s a potent symbol of both danger and temptation.

Director Rachel Chant’s production of this fine play is amusing and thought provoking.

To what degree are we drawn to fear? To what degree is it our adversary?

If fear is our foe, it pays to know our enemy. And that means, in our privileged lives, acknowledging he’s more often seducer than soldier.

Veronica Kaye

(Apologies to Philip Ridley for any misquotes!)

The Pitchfork Disney

Sidetrack Theatre until Dec 9

http://www.sidetrack.com.au/

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