Midsumma Festival unleashed Merciless Gods and Goddesses’ at Melbourne Art Centre’s, Fairfax Studio.
The raw hard-hitting vignettes from Green Room Award winner Dan Giovannoni, depicts haunting historical queer immigrant recollections and embracing families in Australia today.
Giovannoni holds nothing back in his compelling adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas Merciless Gods. The ironically named Little Ones Theatre company channelled Giovannoni’s gigantic, acid tongue wrath and lessons from gods within.
The evocative monologues expose migrant camp atrocities and the street smarts of a gay junkie (Paul Blenheim) in Sydney’s Kings Cross. All Little Ones shine again in an uplifting vignette celebrating same sex marriage and euthanasia laws.
The Little Ones then waste no time scraping off the first layers of truth at a hipsters dinner party. Gay and straight friends indulge in a harmless game of ‘revenge’ storytelling. Queer evolution in 2018 takes a sinister turn, or does it?
The trajectory of monologues hurls down into a bedroom where a Greek mother discovers her sinning son’s porn collection and ancient deities give way to poetic justice—an astounding Shakespearean inspired monologue from a prison cell.
Merciless Gods takes an unexpected path, both acts contain shocking profanity, Aussie colloquialisms and nudity. Jennifer Vuletic’s confronting naked portrayal of a drunken bohemian mother is a prime example of Tsiolkas astute writings and Giovannoni’s virtuous reconstruction.
The minimalist set design compliments Tsiolkas’ honest observations and Giovannoni’s vision. A single red curtain and large triangle on the floor guides your eye to centre stage. Paul Blenheim recites the unseen acts committed at the Cross by handsome and muscular Charles Purcell.
Little Ones Theatre Company exceptional performances encompass past and present issues. Stefan Bramble takes matters into his own hands in a migrant camp, Brigid Gallacher grips a washing basket and refuses to accept the soccer mum stereotype, a lover comforts his partner after loss and perhaps the gods will have mercy on Sapidah Kian concluding monologue.
The music score alerts and alarms your senses. A malevolent smoke haze hangs over the head of the presumed guilty, Gregorian chanting echoes in the wake of family tensions and watch out for the brilliant burst of light as the Gods grace earth.
Merciless Gods is a gritty and passionate perception of beliefs concerning gender, lifestyle, family, revenge, and violence.