On a dark night in the Aussie outback, two lovers crash their car avoiding a ghostly woman on the road. Having begun as childhood friends, Abby (Amy Johnston) and Sam (Barnaby Pollock) argue and quarrel their way through an encounter with the ghost of Ruth (Nicola Bartlett), once the mistress of Abby’s father.
Pollock is earnest and heartfelt as the over-protective Sam, suffocating his girlfriend with love. Johnston is suitably dominating as the melodramatic Abby, and Bartlett is stone-faced and angry as the apparition who orchestrates the crash to her advantage.
Moving On Inc. enjoyed great acclaim at its debut at FRINGE WORLD 2015, but I found it a rather dull affair. The work’s musings on death, remembrance and the notion of legacy tackled too much and therefore failed to hit the mark. Perhaps reducing the scope of the ideas the play presented might have made room for more meaningful exploration. With FAG/STAG and I (Honestly) Love You opening the Subiaco Theatre Festival, the bar had been set quite high and I went in with certain expectations. In comparison this affair seemed amateurish and without finesse.
The three performers carried a sparse plot about unmaking heroes, but were softly spoken and needed to project more for the space. Additionally, some of the action needed to be adapted for the black box theatre at the Subiaco Arts Centre. The seating is not tiered sufficiently to allow punters at the back to adequately see the performance unfold.
Playwright Mikala Westall, founder of the independent theatre company The Lost Boys, has turned her broodings into a solid play and had a good stab at complexity. Though once a member of the Black Swan State Theatre Company’s Emerging Writers Group, her writing in this piece does not demonstrate the same nuance and flair as other works from the group performed this year. That said, the work was layered and had a few unexpected twists and turns, so she’s on the right track.
Words by Samuel J. Cox
Moving On Inc. runs until Saturday 25 June at the Subiaco Arts Centre as part of the Subiaco Theatre Festival. Tickets available here.
The final work to be presented this month is Coincidences at the End of Time.