Sunday, July 5, 2015

HEAD FULL OF LOVE



Written by Alana Valentine
Directed by Wesley Enoch
Producer: Queensland Theatre Company
The Street Theatre, 3 and 4 July 2015

Review by Len Power 3 July 2015

‘Head Full Of Love’ shows the life-changing experience of a white woman on the run from her life in the city who meets and befriends an Aboriginal woman who is a talented crochet beanie maker and lives in a remote location .

The best moment of the play was the display of the various beanies made by the Aboriginal woman.  This sequence was beautifully staged by the director, Wesley Enoch, with good lighting by Ben Hughes on a clever atmospheric set by Simone Romaniuk. 

Actor, Paula Delaney Nazarski, as the Aboriginal woman, gave a strong, naturalistic performance with great comic timing.  Annie Byron played the comic side of her character well but seemed less secure in the more serious aspects of her role, especially some awkward monologues.
Annie Byron and Pauline Delaney Nazarski (Photo by Jamesphoto)

Wesley Enoch’s direction was uneven especially in the pacing of the dialogue.  The final scene was played so slowly that it dissipated the energy of the rest of the play.

There were some amusing moments in the play but a lot of it seemed laboured.  The monologues played directly to the audience by the white woman broke the realism of the rest of the play.  The white woman’s description of feeling threatened while alone in a car at night seemed to go on forever after its point was made and having the character suddenly talking to her son as if he was sitting on her shoulder was disconcerting.  Even though it was later explained that she had suffered some kind of breakdown previously, it really didn’t work.  Then, when the play seemed to be reaching a satisfying and moving finish, the addition of a scene involving a new character was unnecessary.

Author, Alana Valentine, has a good play at the core of this work but it needs some cutting to really satisfy.

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