Who Do You See?

11 Sep

We call them audiences. Not spectators.  Listening matters in the theatre.

Who Do You See? further privileges sound by eliminating pretty much everything else. The whole play is performed in the dark.  There’s a subtle scentscape (coffee, lotion) but the focus becomes almost entirely on what you can hear.

Writer Gavin Roach has cleverly crafted five interlocking contemporary stories. Director Sarah Vickery elicits engaging vocal performances from her actors – David Griffiths, Emma Jones, Suz Mawer, Jack Michel, and Christian O’Connor.

Who Do You See

Who Do You See? is an intriguing title. The implication is that we’ll attempt to imagine the unseen individuals telling the tales.

But the experience actually opens up to something more fascinating and thought provoking.

The stories are simple and gentle, and span only a brief period in the character’s lives. Roach wonderfully captures the minutiae. Life under a microscope.

Ever put a piece of yourself under a microscope? What you see is no longer you. Self hood is an optical illusion, created by distance. Too close, or too far, and we disappear.

Roach’s intriguingly precise observation creates an effect that is somewhat existential rather than essential. It is as though we’re exploring Being; the space in which we experience being human, as against something particular and personal. This effect is further enhanced by Roach’s decision to have the actors tell the character’s stories in third person.

Self as illusion?

Our self – the individual who of our existence – is also like our shadow. It’s entirely forgotten at our best moments; becoming invisible when we look to the light. It also ceases to exist when we’re plunged into total darkness.

At other times, it shrinks and it grows. But it is never us.

Veronica Kaye

Who Do You See?

King Street Theatre Sun and Mon til 23 Sept

http://2013.sydneyfringe.com/event/theatre/who-do-you-see

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