Article Title:The Jungle at The Silo
Author or Credit:John Curry
Published on:8th May 2006 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1226
Text:The Jungle, by Louis Nowra. Dir: Cameron Rhodes. Silo Theatre until 20 May 2006 Like an Aussie version of Pulp Fiction, The Jungle is a hugely entertaining shaggy dog yarn covering twenty four hours of life and death in Sydney. At $30 it's the cheapest and possibly the most exciting one day stop over you'll ever make in that city. Though I'm pretty sure the Aussie tourist industry will not be recommending it, and it could make you see the costumes at the Sydney opera through new eyes. Don't be put off by the grim, confrontational poster for the show. There is loads of humour in amongst the violence, the drugs, the sex, and the hilariously bad pop music show (Icelandic 'body music pop' to be exact). And being Sydney, of course there are some gay characters. Firstly, there's a no-holds barred monologue about gay desire, there's a spunky waiter who gets a new job as 'minder' to a drugged out has-been chanteuse (you'll have great fun playing the 'guess who' game) and there's a touching, suspenseful scene between an Aussie business queen and his Romanian gigolo. This 'outsider' also delivers a beautiful speech about Sydney as seen by night. The author, the prolific Louis Nowra, gives his characters a Shakespearean way with words - oh boy, can they talk! but it's the movement, the choreography of the violence (Steven Davis) and the actors' thrilling execution of this, that really has us on the edge of our seats. Particularly the overdose scene where Jodie Rimmer, Erin Wilson and Phil Brown perform an astonishing dance of death. If the conclusion of the play falls a little flat, almost cliched given the richness of the preceding two and a half hours, maybe it's because we, like the actors, are exhausted by then. And what actors! It's a shock when only five of them turn up for the curtain call. They all have some great moments - David Aston as the speeding cop and then as the jealous lover who thinks he's too ugly to get himself a handsome boyfriend; Eryn Wilson as the 'petho' dealer and as the wheelchair-bound son dieing from aids; Jodie Rimmer with the most obviously glamorous role of the two-hit wonder, whose theme song ought to be 'I'm still here'. But I was most in love with the cast of characters created by Aidee Walker (every Aussie girl who ever went bad or was about to go bad it seemed) and Phil Brown with his mix of sarcasm, desperation and that sunny, never-say-die attitude which must always come in so handy in the jungle that is Sydney. Masterful direction, then, from Cameron Rhodes, effective combo of minimal visuals by lighting man David Eversfield and sound design by Edmund McWilliams, and oh! those costumes by Victoria Ingram (and many others) - David Aston's Icelandic gear gets my Oscar nomination. John Curry - 8th May 2006    
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