By Donald Margulies. ECLIPSE Productions. TAP Gallery, Surry Hills. November 1 – 25.
Donald Margulies writes for “moral-thinking people”. When asked about Time Stands Still, he said it was “a way to write about what is going on in the world … what people are talking about.” He does so, according to director Claudia Barrie without offering any real answers to the questions he raises. Rather, “the bigger morality issues are left hanging in the air for us to … discuss long after the performance.”
Setting the play in the narrow Tap Gallery, with the audience incredibly close to the action, Barrie, and designer Amy Freeman, make those issues, and the characters who face them, even more confronting. We sit right next to them as their lives unfold. We are personally involved in their intimate moments, sharing the tension, feeling the pressure, watching, sometimes almost too closely, the anguish and apprehension in their eyes.
Which all means that the production has to be tight, the blocking compact, the actors secure in their characters – and their lines. Barrie gives them no leeway. Every movement, every reaction is carefully considered and rehearsed in relation to the restrictions of the space, the proximity of the audience, and the complexity and subtlety of the relationships.
“. . . . this strong, committed cast manages to make the characters and the situation even more natural and compelling than in a conventional theatre space.”
Sarah is a photographic journalist committed to ‘making a difference’ by using her camera to bring the atrocities of war and disaster to the attention of the world. James, her partner of eight years, is a journalist who ……