Theatre Review: Transience
Step into the totalitarian state, the 'Age of Unity', the slightly Orwellian society that is forcing its people to reject their gender identity and become 'one' with neutralised society. A world in which 'big brother' is always watching, and by 'Big Brother' we mean Manu Feildel.
This is the world that Xander (played by Kate Pimblett) and Olive (Julia Christensen) exist in.
Left of Centre Theatre Co's Transience, written by Clare Hennessy and directed by Clemence Williams, is a perfectly nuanced snapshot of both the strengths and fragility of intimate friendship. The show explores the idea of a 'New Age World' in which gender fluidity is embraced and self expression is rejected.
For Xander, this rapidly changing set of rules and social expectations are anxiety riddling, especially for someone who is "a trans guy who hates change." Lucky for Xander he has Olive by his side to keep him grounded when he starts getting a little paranoid about being whisked away in the night by 'them'.
Xander is always worried that "they're" listening, or that "they" took his trans co-worker in the middle of the night. Olive is forever trying to convince Xander that "they" don't exist. Until she starts to realise that maybe "they" do.
Who are they? We never really know. My guess is that it's Manu Feildel. That dude is fucking everywhere.
Tracking Xander and Olive's journey, ebbing in and out of the Government's unification process, is a pastiche of supporting characters played by Eve Shepherdson Beck, voicing the characters of "The Government", "The Memories" and that "transphobic ninja" Terry. Beck is to be praised for her ability to seamlessly transition between identities and genders throughout the play, in a way that would make the Department of Unity proud, and for holding the plot line together with her fantastic characterisation skills.
Pimblett and Christensen are also to be recognised for their extremely authentic portrayal of their characters. It was as if you were listening in on a dialogue between life long friends. Charming and whimsical Olive paired with Xander's gentle, awkward nature makes for a gripping relationship that is tried and tested in just the space of the hour long performance.
This brilliant play tackles some very real social issues in a very 'unreal' version of the world and asks us the question, what and who we're willing to compromise to belong?
You've still got time to catch this wonderful play at Kings Cross Hotel with sessions times below.
Thursday 15th of September, 7pm, followed by QANDA at 8.15pm Friday 16th of September, 7pm Saturday 17th MATINEE, 2pm Saturday 17th, 7pm Sunday 18th, 7pm
Crew || Georgina Adamson (Producer), Charles O'Grady (Dramaturg), Lana Spehar (Design), Nick Turton (Composer), Teagan Nicholls (Stage Manager), Timothy Mannering (Stage Manager) and Liam O'Keefe (Lighting Designer).