Thomas's Rant

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Posts Tagged ‘MTC

MTC play: When The Rain Stops Falling

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Story: A tragic and dysfunctional family history ends in the story’s present with a father and son that seem to be prepared to communicate. Then “the rain stops falling”.

Style: fractured logic-puzzle structure with constant intercutting between 3 different time periods (further complicated by a mother and father that have the same name).

The performances are good and inoffensive, but, as you can imagine, the story is completely static and has no action or forward-thrust. Not a single character strives for a goal or does anything (which makes ACTING the roles less challenging I suppose). It is sad to see characters talking about anguish and courage but no one actually demonstrating these. The whole play could be described as people explaining memories to each other – which is very poor drama. Also clichés are everywhere – from dysfunctional families, to child pornography (yet again) to Aussie-UK relations and car accidents. I question the emotional accuracy of the many experiences described. (It also appears strange to me that these characters do not remember people for what they did but for shallow physical quirks like how they dressed or smelled or because they had a moustache.)

The story itself is basic “kitchen-sink” realism, with all the laughter and enjoyment that affords (very little). The play tries to hide this with lighting and scenery effects, ‘quirky’ symbolism and the intercutting multiple-flashback structure. Along with the music, which is of the slow-moving suspended-chord variety reminiscent of an arthouse movie, this rather ordinary story is muddied and made to seem generally “deep” and “moving”.

Reminds me of a short film I made which needed a musical accompaniment. I saw an ad on the internet from a composer who said he could whip me up a score. We chatted about how the music could best be used to bring out the drama, but the score I received was like the music in this play – surreal and semi-magical. I rejected the music for my film as it was clearly a one-size-fits-all job – the ethereal score could be plastered all over the film inoffensively but without bringing out any of the drama, as if the composer hadn’t the guts to decide whether the scene called for sadness or anguish, a comic flair or brooding suspense. It was all just soup – ‘magical’, static, hypnotic soup that makes everything taste the same, like the monotonous pacing of this play.

It’s all a bit suspect and fishy as drama – fish soup in fact.

How about something with guts someone?

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Written by tomtomrant

22 November 2009 at 10:16 pm

Posted in the arts

Tagged with , ,