Perchance to Dream - 2 new Australian Plays

Cast & Crew

The Magician by Dan McCallum
Stephen Sheppard, Peter Theodore, Monique Hohnberg, Suzanne Hauser, Emma Reeves.
Statues of David by Julia Lewis
Madelaine James, Vic Kline, Ben Brock

Hecate - Design

Roz Riley - Director

Review by David Martin published in Actors Australia
The Factory Space Fringe Theatre's latest production Perchance to Dream consists of two contrasting poignant short Australian plays. The Magician centres on the writer - John (Steve Sheppard) and his convoluted relationships with the world and those around him. Playwright Daniel McCallum has created John as a totally mad character. He could have strengthened John by varying his degree of insanity. Despite John living behind the family home, he hasn't seen his daughter Anna for many years. After giving the eighteen year old an inappropriate birthday gift - a small child's doll, his wife Jill (Monique Hohnberg) joins forces with John's best mate Jack (Peter Theodore) to implore John to deal with his issues. The conflict between the two men is spellbinding as the simple and sane Jack vainly attempts to penetrate John's world of pretentious anguish. We are thrown into disarray by the arrival of Woman, the threat (Suzanne Hauser). Is she indeed John's real wife, and are Jack and Jill merely figures of his distorted mind? John being forced to confront his past poses more questions. Is there a choice between personal liberation and absolute madness?
Statues of David shows us that love, lust, jealousy and personal insecurity occurs across the millennia and the gender divide. David (Victor Kline) and Gina (Madelaine James) are conventional lovers, their passion based on deceit and unfulfilled dreams. Despite their impediments the couple gel - until the coming to life of their Statue of David (Ben Brock). The Statue of David is a funky figure - part King, part peasant and part Italian art icon. His one-liners are amusing and cutting. Playwright Julia Lewis uses the wonderfully complex Statue to show that our pasts will eventually catch up with us, where the fragile facades of Gina and David are smashed like plaster statues. A great technique employed in both plays is the actors being on the stage prior to the admittance of the audience. It gives us a sense of continuity and connection with the scene. The stage settings are uncluttered and do not detract from the power of the issues in the plays. The performances are sound, although I thought Monique Hohnberg is wrongly cast as a woman with an adult daughter, and doesn't always seem comfortable in her role. The theatre experience was detracted from by the stifling heat in the Tap Gallery Theatre. A patron nearby described it as a 'sauna'. Where: TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst When: September 18 - October 11 (7.30pm)
The Magician by Dan Mccallum