Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
It is comforting to know that there are directors out there such as Erik Strauts who take joy in putting fresh and contemporary theatre on the stage. He has done just that with his first production for UATG. Australian Playwright Reg Cribb has taken an everyday event like riding the train and added five wonderfully complex individuals to give the audience 2 hours of on the edge of your seat theatre.
The set showed wonderful authenticity, highlighted by appropriate lighting. The second tier was used as a platform and worked well to add depth. The intimacy of this theatre worked in favour of this play and added to the intensity.
Direction was tight, but allowed the actors to deliver their narratives with truth and compassion. Putting the dread into passengers were actors James Whitrow and James King who played Steve and Trev. They were cast perfectly and provided many tense confrontations on the journey. Both sustained their thug like selves throughout and provided the audience with many surprising layers. Nicole Rutty as Maureen was explosive in her opening dialogue and her character maintained the burden of her personal life throughout; she was captivating to watch. Sarah Cullinan as Lisa showed just enough fear and loathing without it becoming too melodramatic. Her dancing scene with Steve was chilling. Rounding out the cast is Steve Marvanek who plays writer Simon. You wonder if he is noticing any of the interactions until the last third of the play where he shines.
Whatever you do, don’t miss this train!