On opening night time, the viewers is actually hanging off the perimeters of their seats with anticipation for the world premiere of Capricorn written and directed by Butchulla and Kabi Kabi author Aidan Rowlingson.
Lights out. Sam (Sean Dow) is busy tidying the lounge whereas getting ready dinner when Ally (Jazleen Latrise) arrives residence. After the niceties are allotted with, the pair sit on the desk when Ally blurts out ‘I feel we should always take a break’. Sam is dumbfounded and tries to discourage Ally however she is adamant about her determination. A full-blown argument ensues. Expletives are exchanged. Insults are hurled forwards and backwards. Accusations don’t have any limits. Boundaries are crossed. Anger blinds the embittered couple as they dive headlong into their fractured relationship.
Enter ‘Right here Fishy Fishy Fishy’ (Kerry Llewy-Allan), the couple’s pet goldfish. Typically invisible to Sam and Ally, his voice of cause (or is it treason) relying on whose facet he’s on, provides one other dimension to the downward-spiralling relationship. The lovable, zany, queer goldfish coupled together with his uproarious vignettes had the viewers in suits of laughter and took the sting off the disappointment of his homeowners’ declining romance.
Rowlingson’s engrossing, acerbic dialogue captures the downfall and battle of a relationship in disaster. It sheds a harsh however truthful mild on two consenting adults who, over time, have come to find unsettling truths which have undermined what they considered one another. Rowlingson’s script additionally skilfully encompasses societal points from the attitude of First Nations individuals. These are expertly portrayed by way of the inventive imaginative and prescient of a surprising set design by Peter Keavy and bigger than life video projections by Sasha Parlett.
Dow, Latrise and Llewy-Allan are very good of their respective roles. Sam and Ally’s bitter breakup is emotive, palpable and intense, crammed with bittersweet reminiscences which can be conveyed by way of a separate set of projections displayed on the lounge ground and cleverly devised by video designer Sasha Parlett. ‘Right here Fishy Fishy Fishy’ is undoubtedly a show-stopper in his brightly colored orange and pink outfits, every drawing a passable sigh as a nod of approval from the appreciative viewers.
Moreover, Rowlingson’s script was dropped at life by way of Parlett’s imaginative and prescient with video projected on two giant panels, together with a smaller TV display screen. These visually stimulating social and considerably absurd commentaries on local weather change, institutional corruption, political energy play, the disappearance of pet goldfish to call only a few, had been great distractions from the unhappy breakup being performed out on the stage and added to the general humour.
Keavy’s set design comprised a comfortable residence with an open-plan dwelling space ignored by an enclosed, glass-panelled kitchen. The intimate dwelling house allowed the viewers to turn into silent onlookers however not in an intrusive means. The enclosed kitchen added to the already combined bag of feelings because the viewers watched the couple argue silently inside its confined house. Shades of teal, turquoise and inexperienced emulating the ocean made up the cool, calming color palette.
Co-Director Nadine McDonald-Dowd, Lighting Designer Geoff Squires, Sound Designer Wil Hughes and Composer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie mixed their respective inventive abilities and experience in creating the temper, the atmosphere and the myriad of nuances that pervades this excellent manufacturing. The gurgling sound made by a fish tank was the cherry on the proverbial cake when ‘Right here Fishy Fishy Fishy’ made his entrances and exits from a back-lit panel as he struck a pose for extra dramatic impact.
Learn: Theatre assessment: Miss Peony, Belvoir Theatre
On the coronary heart of Capricorn is the ill-fated breakup of lovers Sam and Ally dropped at life by way of Rowlingson’s engrossing script, which in flip is interpreted by a stellar solid. However finally Capricorn is a commanding, debut play written from a First Nations perspective that takes into consideration the cultural points of what it means to be a First Nations individual dwelling on unceded land.
Capricorn, written and directed by Aidan Rowlingson La Boite Theatre Brisbane Forged: Sean Dow, Jazleen Latrise, and Kerri Llewy-AllanCo-Director: Nadine McDonald-DowdDesigner: Peter KeavyLighting Design: Geoff SquiresVideo Design: Sasha Parlett (Crimson Handed Productions)Sound Design: Wil HughesComposers: Waveney Yasso and Jhindu-Pedro LawrieHere Fishy Fishy Fishy Costume Fee: Delvene Cockatoo-CollinsFight, Intimacy and Motion Director: Nigel PoultonCultural Guide: Colleen Wall Director Observer: Che Skeen
Capricorn is carried out at La Boite Theatre from 24 July to 12 August 2023; tickets $39-55.
This assessment is revealed below the Amplify Collective, an initiative supported by The Walkley Basis and made attainable by way of funding from the Meta Australian Information Fund.