Younger and Smaller – Review

Amelia Newman has written a play with beautifully naturalistic dialogue that uses large comic masks to elevate and define the drama. Three characters living together discuss domestic duties, relationships, self-loathing and try to confront the death of a mutual friend.

The character’s journey in confronting their own and each other’s vulnerability is heightened through the device of large comic heads being worn as masks. The heads convey a sense of how people may be liberated by a mask, and the humour of this liberation is palpable. Anticipating when and if the heads will be removed keeps the audience guessing. When at last the first mask is removed the vulnerability is confronting for both audience and the characters on stage,  the interpersonal relationships all shift and falter in response.

The final moments teeter on absurd interactions with messy food and dancing that speak to the troubles of trying to reason with death, loss and the ego.

Once Anna Elise Louey reveals her face to the audience her direct gaze and subtle dancing are both captivating and provocative. Jack Zapsalis embodies his whole character with a physicality that is both edgy, tense and endearing. Alanna Marshall isn’t afraid to be sincere in her performance and gives the play a final moment of honesty that resonates. When the characters all decide to have a photo taken so that they may have it printed on a keepsake mug, I felt their unique bond and was glad that they have each other for support and growth.

Writer and Director Amelia Newman
Cast Anna Elise Louey, Alanna Marshall & Jack Zapsalis
Assistant Director Sarah Conroy
Lighting Designer Isabel White
Photography Credit Jack Zapsalis

La Mama Courthouse 349 Drummond St, Carlton

Nov 19 – 21,  2017