All This Intimacy is a play written by a man, about a man, who in the span of a week manages to impregnate three women: his ex-girlfriend, his 40-something next-door neighbour and his 18 year-old student.
And while this play focuses on the plight of this man, Ty Greene (Scott Major) and his desperate pleadings for help from his best friend Seth (Nathan Strauss) it is the women in this play that ultimately triumph in the end.
Finding inspiring roles for female actors is a difficult challenge so it is a rare treat to find four in the one production. Thankfully writer Rajiv Joseph has given us just that in his play All This Intimacy. I recently sat down with the female cast of the show to talk about their roles and the bond of the sisterhood.
Joanne Redfearn (who plays Ty’s ex-girlfriend Jen), Debbie Zukerman (the 18 year old student Becca), Celeste Markwell (Nathan’s fiancé Franny and sister to Jen) and Georgia Bolton (the neighbour Maureen) have a bond that stretches beyond this production. All four actors formed part of Director Andrew Prowse’s Monday night acting workshops and have worked together in various productions prior to All This Intimacy.
What stands out so clearly when meeting with these incredibly talented actors, is their dedication to the work and respect and admiration for each other. When watching the play All This Intimacy there is a tendency to side with either the men or the women and that was clearly evident amongst the audience with an almost ‘them (the men) v’s us (the women)’ attitude. And while there is clearly a deep level of rivalry amongst the characters in this play, there is also that undeniable bond that women have with each other, even in times of jealousy and pain.
It is easy to get caught up in the humour and absurdity of All This Intimacy particularly during the infamous ‘dinner party scene’ where the women are all brought together by Ty so he can deal with his current predicament, but the women in this play highlight the inner strength that women hold. What this scene ultimately exposes is the incredible sisterhood and unity that these women share despite their differences.
The cast delves further into the play’s themes explaining that while the scenario may seem somewhat ludicrous at times, there is a great truth held within the characters. Guilt is a strong element amongst the women. As Redfearn explains, “Jen feels guilty about breaking up with Ty” and this is what draws her back into his life. Markwell’s Franny wrestles with her Catholic guilt as Bolton’s Maureen is caught in the trap of infidelity.
The women are self-reflective which is in great contrast to Ty who by the end of the play has so much more to learn. In the end, he loses everything while the women’s self-reflection leads them on a greater journey. Ty attempts to win back his former life and hold on to what he used to have, whereas the women seek out new beginnings. They grow through the experience. Maureen gets what she always wanted. Jen gets her purpose in life, as does Franny. And Becca learns to take responsibility.
Prowse has assembled a strong female cast who have brought a multitude of levels to their characters, but it is the strength of their convictions, the strength in the unity and the bond of womanhood that stands out in All This Intimacy. As they rush off to prepare for another night’s performance, I can’t help but reflect on the beautiful energy and support amongst them. Indeed, it is bond of the sisterhood.
All This Intimacy
Written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Andrew Prowse
Starring Scott Major, Joanne Redfearn, Debbie Zukerman, Celeste Markwell, Georgia Bolton, Nathan Strauss and Bruce Hughes.
Loft Theatre, Chapel Off Chapel – Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Friday 24 February – Sunday 11 March 2012