Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26. Day 147. Switzerland

QTC's executive director Sue Donnelly on opening night

Let's play a game. A word game. When I say a word what are three words that pop into your head without thinking. Ready?
My guess is that somewhere at least one of these words featured: Alps, chocolate and neutrality.
It doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong. This is my game and I make up the rules.
Alps: Let's start there. Amazing peaks. Snow covered, offering the possibility of a wild ride to the bottom if you dare.
Chocolate: Rich, delicious. It's only when it melts that you can fully know what's hidden at it's core.
Neutrality: A place that doesn't take sides. When there are two parties at war, Switzerland famously sat back watched and as we now know profited.
At various times watching Switzerland by Queensland Theatre Company tonight I felt all of those things.
Let's go with Alps first. Amazing natural beauty, great heights but prone to clouds that can sweep across in an instant casting a long shadow. Anyone who has been there will not fail to notice the light, Beautiful light. Light that creates mood, light that illuminates as well as obscures and signifies the passage of time over a day and as day turns to night turn to day.
Now chocolate. Especially that Swiss piece of loveliness the Toblerone. First you notice the angles. The set was like that. Raked to draw you in. High at one side and the front but falling away in both directions. But like that Toblerone what you see is not what you get. You know that there is more, far more that's hidden inside. It will be revealed.... slowly.... as the outer layers melt away.
Now neutrality. You don't take sides. Like an umpire in a tennis match, you watch as one scores a point, then the other and back. There will be a winning shot to end this rally but you watch in awe trying to figure out who will hit it and when. You know it's coming but you sure as hell don't know whether it will be a gentle drop shot that just skims the net or a surgical backhand down the line.
This is an amazing two hander. Andrea Moor plays Patricia Highsmith the American writer famed for her psychological thrillers and her famous serial killer Tom Ripley. She's in Switzerland, an exile in the last days of her life revelling in carrying to the end her childhood trauma that began with her mother trying to abort her with drain fluid five months into the pregnancy. Into this walks Matthew Backer, as Edward Ridgeway who arrives from New York to coax the writer into one last deeply dark brilliant murder.
The warning says: This production contains a blackout, coarse language, adult themes, sexual references, violence, replica weapons and herbal cigarettes. It probably should say make sure you have a nightlight. And chocolate. You may just need both.

Total steps today 10, 337. (I walked to QTC. Even if I walked home via Moscow it wouldn't have made up for the chocolate I ate at the opening night party)

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