Returning from a dinner party, a couple (Michelle Robertson & Monty Burgess) dissect the evenings events – who was there, the conversations, the relationships, the colour of mismatched socks and ladders in stockings.
What follows is 70 minutes of back n forth curious questioning and statements by a couple who may have grown apart or become complacent. Looking to challenge their relationship, the dialogue between the two progressively reaches a fantasy like exchange.
Writer Kat Moritz has presented the experienced actors a very difficult task. In Moritz’ words the ‘Lines should only be spoken when the actors feel compelled to speak….and spoken from a place of genuine curiosity’. Despite the actors best efforts, their commitment and concentration must be commended, what results is unfortunately a laboured piece that struggles to keep the attention.
I started out genuinely interested in these two people, but that soon changed as the perilously long pauses became frustratingly repetitive and the dialogue flat in delivery. There is legitimacy in the convention that Moritz has chosen to embrace and very good writing through-out but for a show of this length there was the real need for dramatic contrast.
Robertson and Burgess work very well together. There is a genuine trust that resonates between them. I felt secure in their security, never feeling anxious that one or both minds had wandered – as could have easily happened given the pace of the piece. Their focus is outstanding.
As is too the collaboration between actor, director (Eryn Kimberley) and writer. As much as having issue with the repetitive convention, the commitment to the style of the piece by all should be acknowledged. There is consistency in the objective and this is equated much to Kimberley’s direction. It is precise, crisp and direct.
Moritz must have realised that this piece may challenge the audience – again in her words ‘Disgust may bore you. It may offend you. It may move you. Or it may just wash over you’. And in my case unfortunately it was the latter. But with the benefit of development, Disgust has the ability to be a solid and thought provoking piece on what is love, commitment, intimacy and connection. I hope this season can be re-worked, developed further and gets the opportunity of a matured re-mount.
Disgust performs at Trades Hall, Carlton until 2 September.