Your Slip is Showing by Christa de Jager and Liliana Bogatko. Empty Spaces Theatre Company at The Street Theatre StudioFebruary 12-14, 2002, 7pm. 2002 National Multicultural Festival.
What a little surprise! - a kind of light version of Waiting for Godot from a women's perspective with a reverse twist at the end. Called "uniquely weird" in the program, sometimes absurdly opaque like Beckett's play, here are an ex-South African and an ex-Pole waiting for a dream which they can't define.
Is "Mr Man" - in European seductive mode, or as tough Boer macho, or even as Aussie cork-hatted beery couch potato Norm - the dream come true? Well no, not really - just as Pozzo and Lucky can never be Godot, who, as the little boy tells Estragon and Vladimir, will not come today.
But our women tonight, reduced to their underwear by Mr Man's mean saxophone, hear the wind in the fog, and find the gates of emigration and immigration. Only when they understand that they cannot know where they are going, do they pass through the final gate to independence from Mr Man, shuffling him off to a lonely dim spotlight for his last expiration on the sax. Godot comes for these women: maybe this is what Australia offers? The Lucky Country indeed!
Dirk Zeylmans van Emmichoven - Mr Man - of Dutch-Indonesian origin, says nothing except through mime and his saxophone. His improvisations would do Clinton proud in his relations with Monica, and are certainly a gem to watch and hear. Bogatko is beguiling, extracting a virtual cheer from the opening night audience especially for her vacuum cleaning climactic. While de Jager, always with proper reservations, held the play together thematically with a kind of lean strength.
Termed a "workshopped play", without a separate director, Your Slip is Showing is the first production for this new local company. If a Multicultural Festival draws such people out of our community to explore their experiences in such interesting ways, then it has fulfilled a valuable role. I look forward to more work from Empty Spaces. To rephrase Peter Brook: A woman walks across this empty space whilst someone is watching her, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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