REVIEW: Blood On The Cat's Neck
Blood On The Cat's Neck
Reviewed by Lara Franzi
Washed in the sorrows of nine morally corrupted characters, this 1971 German play embeds the fears of drunken misfits who share their concern towards issues that are much too familiar to the ones we all still face today.
Written by Rainer Werner Fassbinder and picked up by Blood On The Cat’s Neck challenges the way we observe both theatre as well as otDirector Saro Luxty-Cavallari,hers, and invites us to be voyeurs into the characters' tragic wins and failures. Entering a bar scene, the audience steps into and onto stage to become part of a set that would seem empty without them. This interactive element is a powerful decision that lets us determine where to stand as we are witness to the torments on display.
Innocent comic character Phoebe Zeitgeist (Laura Djanegara) sips the wisdom from everyone’s cup as she clings like a parasite to the pessimistic ramblings of drunken patrons. She guides us into a frozen moment, where we get a taste of each characters' unfiltered thoughts, hearing the loud voice that is inescapable in their minds, yet always silent to everyone else. Alcohol soaked admissions reveal their deep secrets and agonies that cling deeply to their souls. It’s hard to ignore the blatant sexism that undermines violence and character motivation. Their pain is driven by their action or lack of actions, as they never understand how words tear others apart until Phoebe mirrors it back onto them.
The dedication and delight of Jack Crumlin and Emma Kew’s characters divide the play between good and evil, entwining their opposite wants with each other. They bring a strong sense of realism to the performance, capturing us with their subtle distaste and hopes that play out through each minuscule movement.
Young love, old love and lust are all mixed together, stretching feelings between partners and hollowing out the emotion. Treating love like a fixture that separates two people, as a warning flashlight that questions what it means to be selfish. Being in love with someone who doesn’t love you, or not loving someone back?
Blood on the Cat’s Neck is a vibrant piece that stands out amongst Sydney's theatre scene. It's a thought provoking and exhausting play that allows you to glare into the face of your enemies; to stare at a lying, cheating adulterer, or into the fumbling’s of a love-sick teenager, to meet the eye of a cold-hearted businessman, and share the breath of a plastic beauty queen. Standing in the shadows of the bar, sneaking closer towards these characters, I felt like a ghost witnessing their downfalls and banking on their pain.
It’s an immersive experience that allows you to catch the subtle details of each action in the dark. Standing at the same height and in the same space of these characters brought out a deeper connection, it made some scenes unbearable and others hypnotic. I was completely swept up in the drama and lost in each individual’s bitter life.
BLOOD ON THE CAT'S NECK
Kings Cross Theatre
Images: Zaina Ahmed
26 - 30 May