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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | May 29, 2020

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Challenge Yourself with Six Characters in Search of an Author

Challenge Yourself with Six Characters in Search of an Author

| On 16, Apr 2016


Six Characters in Search of an Author is performed amidst the enchanting arched chambers of Spring Hill’s underground reservoir. heartBeast Theatre’s latest production is an unforgettable night of theatre that will leave you stunned.

As usual, heartBeast have done wonders with their chosen venue –  The Spring Hill Reservoirs. As I walk down the makeshift stairs, I can’t help but notice that it is cold, grungy but strangely appealing. The venue is the perfect backdrop for the dark play with its intimate setting. We feel close to the actors before the show has even begun.

Italian Nobel Prize winner Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) is considered one of the greatest pieces of 20th century modernism. It takes a brave theatre company to tackle Pirandello’s thought-provoking and eccentric material however, heartBeast have managed to pull it off. Director Anna Loren presents an exciting and beautifully-crafted production that explores the world of theatre.

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The plot of Six Characters is confusing at times and I would be surprised if you left the show understanding every little detail. The show begins with The Director and her actors preparing for a rehearsal of a Pirandello play (yes, it is a play within a play!). However, the are interrupted by the arrival of six mysterious figures who claim that they have a story that needs be heard and The Director must turn it into a play.

The setting of the Spring Hill Reservoirs allowed for the production to break the fourth wall. The ‘actors’ walked and talked amongst the audience as they watched the dysfunctional family on-stage reveal their past. It truly was an eerie experience sitting in the Reservoirs watching this tormented play come to life.

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Gregory J Wilken was vocally perfect for The Father, his voice was soothing but chilling. His interactions with The Director were easily my favourite scenes as he tried to convince her to be their ‘author’. Jane Schon was captivating as The Stepdaughter, a role that she was seemingly born to play. She kept the audience on their toes as she switched from rage to lust, all in the same scene. Schon was able to make us feel sympathy for her character as she seductively danced across the stage.

John Robertson paced the stage and ran his fingers through his hair as he conveyed The Son’s feelings of isolation and betrayal. His scenes with Schon were raw and the anger his character felt towards her was evident through his icy glare. Eleonora Ginardi’s facial expressions were haunting in her role as The Mother. Even though she had fewer lines than the rest of the main cast, she was able to portray the characters overwhelming sense of guilt and grief.

heartBeast must be credited for their flawless execution of Pirandello’s challenging material. They have delivered a first class production that is guaranteed to stay with you for days. The play makes you question who is the audience and who really are the performers? Reality goes out of the window as absurdism creeps in. Six Characters in Search of an Author is sure to divide the audience, after all it poses many questions and fails to answer many. Its a rare gem that doesn’t spoon feed the audience and instead encourages them to explore reality and illusion.


What When One Door Closes Six Characters in Search of an Author

Where Spring Hill Reservoir

When 6th – 23rd Apr, 2016

How Much $15 – $33

For more details or tickets, head to heartBeast’s website here.

Image Credit: heartBeast