Play review: Attempts on her life

Several weeks ago my wife and I did something we hadn’t done in a long time; we went to see a play. This was at the encouragement of our daughter who gets concession tickets to various play productions through her work as an English teacher.

The play we saw was called Attempts on her Life by the British playwright Martin Crimp. Our immediate reaction was that we had forgotten how immediate and in your face live theatre can be. The theatre was The Space in the Adelaide Festival Centre. This theatre is relatively intimate, seating several hundred at most. The actors are only a few metres away which adds to the dramatic effect.

There were six very talented actors, each involved in a range of roles. I can’t tell you their names as I didn’t buy a programme guide.(I sneaked a look at my daughter’s programme.) Each of the actors gave very professional and compelling portrayals of their characters.

The most interesting aspect of the play was that the main character does not make an appearance throughout the play. All the other characters talk about their relationship with the main character. In all there are 17 vignettes of the main characters life as seen through the eyes of her friends and family.

The language of the early sections was beautifully lyrical and musical. Other sections were crude, coarse and shocking. Overall it was like looking through the eyes of someone else at the life of a totally dysfunctional person.

It was a fascinating experience.

I think we might be hooked on live theatre.


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