The Bull, The Moon and The Coronet of Stars

Van Badham’s clever triptych for two characters is an incisive working of issues surrounding passion, love and infidelity.
The Bull, The Moon and The Coronet of Stars

Warning: this imaginative play is as explicit as adult life itself. It contains the use of performance-enhancing mythology, frequent caustic comedy and scenes using advanced storytelling techniques.

Van Badham’s clever triptych for two characters is an incisive working of issues surrounding passion, love, infidelity, vulnerability and growth. Beautifully smooth switches to a parallel level of Greek mythology exist throughout without becoming cliché.

The constant character in each section is Marion, an artist working initially at a museum and later teaching at a holiday resort. She is played in both fine and broad brush strokes by Silvia Colloca. From a dangerous liaison with an attractive married colleague at the photocopier, her character is catapulted through a labyrinth of love, lust and painful emotional evolution.

Colloca illustrates her ability to convey even the briefest moment of sharp drama through vocal nuance and physical expression. Her clear evocation of crises entertains. Pure frustration with contemporaries in her pursuit or avoidance of grand passion is a delight to watch.

Matt Zeremes crafts two strong male characters as suitable foils for Marion. His bold workplace beasts of temptation morph slowly but surely from their office or holiday resort conquests to operate on a higher plane. Zeremes’ character development is subtle and focussed. He moves towards climaxes and mythological intensity with skilful pace.

With characters often narrating in third person, this play has great momentum and excites from its onset. The delivery of overlapping text also helps bounce feeling around the suggested settings. A flexible set design of hollow pine prisms with very few props suggests fragility and the inability to truly hide from predicament.

Creatively and theatrically this is a refreshing moonlit expedition. It witnesses the result of humans yearning for maturity and control while their beasts within exceed everyday reality. Badham’s structure and modern poetry suspends us like gods at savage heights before releasing us to a new world of self-transformed relaxation.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Griffin Theatre Company presents

The Bull, The Moon and The Coronet of Stars

By Van Badham

Director: Lee Lewis

Designer: Anna Tregloan

Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson

Sound Designer/Composer: Steve Francis

Cast: Silvia Colloca, Matt Zeremes

 

SBW Stables Theatre, Kings Cross

2 May – 8 June

 

Paul Nolan

Friday 10 May, 2013

About the author

Paul Nolan is a classically trained pianist. He studied at UNSW and graduated with a Bachelor of Music.