The Ends of Things has the wonderful Trevor Patrick as an oldster miming his way through morning rituals in comically outsize clothes. Patrick's persona owes something to Chaplin and Keaton-timing deftly based on distraction and delayed responses. Outside his little abode (back projections create domestic details), a trio of youthful phantasmic figures dance abstract patterns. Occasionally they're in parallel with the old man—he folds a shirt, they fold each other as if ordering lives and relationships. Soon they enter his life unseen but disorienting it (the best of this is in Guerin's facility for entwining her characters, here in knots with Patrick at his bewildered best), eventually dismantling his house and, it appears, setting him free while they freeze. Something has ended, something begun, even in old age. While The Ends of Things is finely made and frequently inventive, the metaphysical promise of the title is not matched by the pervasive whimsy and the trio dancing becomes predictable. It's at its best in Patrick, especially when a darker comic dimension emerges—the pants-down, bum-baring exhibitionist in-the-privacy of-his-own-home.
Melt and The Ends of Things, Lucy Guerin Inc, The Studio, Sydney Opera House, Nov 18-23
RealTime issue #58 Dec-Jan 2003 pg. web
© Keith Gallasch; for permission to reproduce apply to firstname.lastname@example.org