This review comes from Night Writes guest reviewer Jack Mitchell
“What’s the game, then?”
The thuggish Mick asks the homeless layabout Davies this question at the end of Act 1 of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. Davies doesn’t know how to respond and it is almost as though Pinter is probing the audience with the same question. What’s the point of it all? Sitting within the absurdist theatre style, the play questions our assumptions about the fundamental aspects of live theatre. The plot is sparse, the characters speak over and around each other, and the language is cyclical and repetitive. Under Iain Sinclair’s direction, this is a claustrophobic and intriguing production.
Australia loves sport. It turns teams into families, players into warriors, and games into wars. And, as much as some people use sport for escapism, the industry has a long history of perpetuating, ignoring, or failing to engage adequately with global concerns of racism, homophobia, and toxic masculinity. The Pass flips the script, using elite sport as the backdrop to riffle around in these issues and their intersections with success, sacrifice, and authenticity.
Enemy cities, a tragic shipwreck, two sets of twins separated indefinitely: so goes Shakespeare’s farce A Comedy of Errors. In Hilary Bell’s adaptation for the National Theatre of Parramatta, the story retains all the instances of mistaken identity, unfulfilled plans, wrongful arrests, and a near execution while injecting a bit of Western Sydney flair.
In the modern world, where it seems chaos reigns, the indeterminacy of the future can have many people clinging to the certainty of discrimination, exclusion, and hatred tighter than ever before. For loyalist Protestant Eric, the trauma of a past broken by terrorism and fear collides with the intimidating future of freedom and unlimited possibilities with devastating effects.