Windows opens the shutters in your mind to experience a cultural, uncomfortable, yet exhilarating production of experimental theatre techniques.
Turkish born writer Ayse Bayramoglu’s Windows distracts and distorts with her imaginary world of poverty, teenagers angst and arranged marriages.
Under the ever evolving and insightful direction of Lloyd Jones, an immaculate cast and crew convey his theatrical form in a type of Newton’s Cradle in human motion.
Like human silver balls, the strike of the first episode shifts your emotions back and forth, till the final episode when the balls stops swinging.
The audience partakes in the ‘sensory set’ crunching our way to our seats on uncooked pasta shells. Ayse Bayramoglu’s intricate script of ‘monologues of the mind’ begins with an improvised narration. At first glance, Sandra Chui appears to be a voluntary narrator from the audience and struggles to read the script in the darkness. Her antics inject subtle humour. Laura Barnes audio adds depth to Lloyd Jones theatrical spectacle and creates another living character from the haunting operatic background tracks and intermittent sound effects. Leaving you to question whether you need to have your ears checked.
Bayramoglu’s extraordinary talent is evident in the poetic justice of her dialogue. A curious and infatuated Huso tries to piece together the desolate life of this young girl tending her crippled father. Their antagonistic meetings comprise of repetitive derogative remarks from Huso and the spoils of his wealth and mother’s cooking. Esme seems unperturbed and neither begs him for his company or food. Huso shows compassion to the poverty-stricken Esme and presents her with daily morsels of food and then just as easily, douses her with daily doses of insults. Bayramoglu’s metaphors become more apparent when the pair starts to play their game of looking through ‘windows’ into Esme’s world. The windows of their childish game soon reveal sinister undertones. Esme appears with bruises on her face at their next meeting. What repulsive truth does the window reveal?
The adult actors, Zac Kazepis and Anna Ellis are quite adept at playing the role of children and adolescents. They both gave commendable performances despite Bayramoglu’s tendency for lengthy dialogue.
The well-received season of Windows in 2017 has been reprised and reinvented for 2018. However, the performance of over 90 minutes, stepped a little too far outside a ‘comfortable zone’. A post opening night discussion with director Lloyd Jones, confirms his visionary theatrical form, will be of decidedly shorter duration for the rest of the season.
Ayse Bayramoglu indulges us with her passion for complex cultural storytelling, with a contemporary Australian twist. Doors may close, yet windows are the eyes of every household and Windows is no exception.