Yours The Face, is a masterful snapshot of duality.
Fleur Kilpatrick’s Quiet Little Fox production is cunning and discerning.
Roderick Cairns is swift and responsive in the dual roles of Emmy the model and Peter the photographer. He adapts Kilpatrick’s deception effortlessly in his feminine poses or masculine stance.
Walker and Reid manipulate Cairns angular physique to provide a vessel of male and female beauty. Cairns has endurance. His talents extend to switching between characters and still managing to breathe. We forget it is one person speaking for both.
Camera flashes and clicks. A slender man with a mun, beard, black singlet and jeans holds a pose. An annoying solitary ringlet curl hangs from his hairline onto his face and unwittingly introduces the Emmy character. Cairns as the photographer asks if he can tuck the ringlet curl behind Emmy’s ear during the first shoot. This is an ingenious yet subtle thread in the story.
An assimilated camera flash, then the striking deep masculine voice of Cairns becomes the character of Peter. It’s hard to conceive there is only one actor on stage and two distinct characters.
Cairns hyper extensive hip and shoulder joints transform the male actor into Emmy. Their first kiss is accentuated with careful mannerisms and delicate dialogue. Cairns uses the unique fluidity in his limbs to touch and hold his face. We believe the lovers embrace.
Walker and Reid’s collaboration is flawless. Emmy sits with her back to the audience in an elegant pose on the chair. She is the epitome of the female form. Transversely, Peter, turns the chair around, straddles it whilst addressing the audience. He engages us with good old fashioned Aussie dry humour and common sense.
We are steered away from the visual of the solitary actor to absorb the story. Cairns pitches his voice and accents accordingly. This theme is reaffirmed with the slow Southern American drawl of Emmy and the Aussie larrikin swearing of Peter.
The full frontal nudity is purposeful in keeping with the theme of image. Pre and post coitus, Emmy undresses and the banality of the human form is captured in their words, “your beautiful” he says and she answers, “yes, I know”.
Peter deliberately dresses. Kilpatrick addresses the one night stand and the characters defend the first time they lost their virginity. Yet again, minimal movement and one actor is simultaneously two.
Kilpatrick observes the obsession a photographer has chasing the elusive shot and the model chasing the elusive high. Emmy’s unexpected drug high, hints to her former habit of pyromania.
Kilpatrick suggests the dehumanisation of a Super Model existence. The photographer in Peter falls in love with Emmy’s face and skeletal form. He’s obsession extends to capturing her image in an incapacitated drug induced state.
The set of a photography shoot, complete with white light reflective umbrellas and a basic black chair, is a suitable back drop to Cairns colourful performance.
The shoot is superimposed into a night club with flashing lights. Intense red pulsing light alludes to Emmy’s multiple fire starting escapades.
Tiny tinkles of piano ivories subtlety signify scene change.
An astounding singular performance. Hidden agendas in a superficial setting. Androgyny a new fashion between the camera shutters.