reviews & media release for New Theatre production of
IN ANGEL GEAR
SMH - Metropolitan - Wednesday 5 June 2002
Reviewed by Lenny Ann Low
In a squalid seas of milk-crate furnitue and week-old bongs a group of inner-city junkies suck the juice out of life. Or, allow drugs to vacuum them dry. For the sleazy drug dealer, male prostitute and virtuous grunge princess, drugs are the reason to exist. In Melbourne playwright Sam Sejavka's award-winning play people shoot up constantly. His eight characters prowl their ragged living-rooms like feral children, grizzling between painful restlessness and short highs. They skew through life selling their souls for cash, pandering to fools for another hit. But within this spin cycle of bliss and destruction is a subtle blend of fleeting salvation and a kind of comic buffoonery. Kath Gordon's poingnantly tragic junkie Vesna spits black humour and shoots up like she's manipulating a gearstick in a video game. Ex-boyfriend Dermot (Jaro Murany) is a black-eyed whirlwind on legs of rubber and the disturbing descent of prostitute John (Winston Cooper) is very effective. It is clear director Alice Livingstone leads her junkie brood with much care. This production feelsless like theatre and more like an accidental observation of someone's life. Even after leaving, I felt these crumbling humans remain trapped in their darkness.
From June/July issue of "Real Time"
Reviewed by Keith Gallasch (with a bunch of other stuff - "Copenhagen" & "Macbeth" @ STC, "Wicked Sisters" @ Griffin, "Still Angela" @ Playbox)
"It's a short step from Macbeth [STC] to the subjects of Sam Sejavka's "In Angel Gear", junkies locked in the monstrous loop of addiction, in which time is either momentarily and ecstatically overcome or suffered as purgatory until the next hit. There's little sense of the past and fantasies about the future remain just that. The play shows its age with creaky voice-overs that illustrate something of each of the characters in turn and there's some awkward plotting, but the everydayness of the addict's life with its narrow yearnings, squalor, glimpses of escape, criminal desperation, betrayal and easy violence are portrayed in both writing and production with an unequalled frankness for the stage and with the necessary sense of duration. The horror of time passing possesses these wracked bodies and restless psyches (fine, exacting performances from Winston Cooper, Jaro Murany and Victoria Thaine) as Sejavka and director Alice Livingstone allow the lived moment to unfold until you think you feel it in your own body,"
GENERAL MEDIA RELEASE:
There are some places you wouldnít even visit, some places where you can lose yourself, but the Blue Lady beckons and suddenly there is no way back..
There is an expression that truckies use, they say if you put your gears into neutral you can save fuel and coast downhill ëin angel gearí. Sam Sejavkaís award-winning play, In Angel Gear follows the everyday lives of ten young people, brought together by their addiction to heroin. They drift along, caught in the moment, oblivious to danger.
New Theatre is proud to present the Sydney premiere of this extraordinary Australian play.
In Angel Gear is a compelling journey that follows the lives of some inner city junkies. The play neither condemns nor supports the use of heroin but takes us inside the world of dealing and using, stealing and abusing. Sejavka opens up this tawdry, horrifying but strangely intriguing world, making it possible for us to care for these characters and their fates. There is an honesty and integrity in Sejavkaís exploration of these peopleís passions, obsessions, needs and fears and just when humanity is threatened with obscurity, there is a poignancy in the hope that surfaces momentarily.
Directed by Alice Livingstone
Design by Wayne Harris
Featuring: Winston Cooper, Jessica Turner, Neil Henderson, Jaro Murany, Victoria Thaine, Kath Gordon, James Studdert, Tj Moore, Tony Stock, Rochelle Whyte, Rob Flanagan