Margaret Edson's Wit
The Rare Theatre
Director : Damian Thorne
Last night I had a ‘rare’ experience indeed. Tucked away at the back of Shed 23 on Princess Street is a cheeky little rebel theatre where director Damian Thorne has produced The Rare Theatre’s debut show - Wit. With a coffee cup in hand I surveyed the charming array of chairs and cushions all neatly lined up in delightful rows in the intimate theatre space. I think that when spaces are restricted great skills of creativity are needed to endow them, sort of like condensed soup – it has a richer flavour. That was certainly my experience of The Rare Theatre, it is cosy, full of ambience, personal and embracing.
Looking at the set was sort of like staring into a lounge window, it was a very relaxing scene to gaze upon. The small set space did not stop this one woman show from delivering its full story to great effect. Actress Gael Haining-Ede as Vivian Bearing used her space well to deliver a witty yet bleak narrative about her cancer battle supported by voice recordings with Trudy Pearson as Susie Monahan, Damian Thorne as Jason Posner and Jeremy Matthews as Harvey Kelekian.
Gael’s performance was commendable as she delved deep to deliver some highly emotional scenes. Balancing the narrative with strength, courage and wit, at times I got goosebumps, while other theatre goers wiped tears from their eyes. The soothing and gentle tones of nurse Susie Monahan were a relief in amongst some tough scenes, and Jason Posner’s clinical and robotic, yet thorough bedside manner offered more light relief.
With Vivian Bearing’s occupation as an academic specialising in 17th Century English Literature taking a dominant role, this play really delivered a bunch of my favourite things. Small spaces, clever language, art, and a strong woman role model! It was a rare experience, but a delightful one.
I talk and think a lot, here I share the love and the words and the thoughts. Take it or leave it...