Transparency – Seymour Centre

Transparency is, at its core, a relationship drama. 

Presented by: Seymour Centre in association with Riverside ProductionsVenue: Seymour Centre, Sydney Saturday 3 September, 2011
Transparency Transparency is, at its core, a relationship drama. It is not unusual in Australian theatre or film to tell this kind of story – couples in conflict and relationships fraught with misunderstandings and emotional conflict but right from the start the audience can see this is not your average relationship. 
The great thing about this show is it manages to avoid a sense of cliché and melodramatic foreboding and let the characters unfold. It is nice to see an Australian play that is character driven rather than plot driven. For this reason it is difficult and probably pointless to outline the plot but rather to talk about character and theme, both of which this play gets pitch perfect. 
Glenn Hazeldine (pictured, right) plays Simon who struggles with his past and is desperate for the sense of self one can only get when a rose is known by its real name. Simon committed a crime when he was ten years old. I was going to write heinous crime but the character is played with such nuance and focus that I am left wondering if a ten year old has the ability to differentiate between wrongs. Simon slowly crumbles as he doubts his life but in particular himself. A beautifully layered and completely natural performance that shows a man broken down by something he did before he even knew what the world was. He is roundly supported by Amy Mathews (pictured) as his wife Jessica who the courts have decided, needs to be kept in the dark, and Celia Ireland as Simons counsellor, Andy, who needs him to be rehabilitated, to justify her life’s work. Anna Lise Phillips and Ed Wightman are new parents who work with and socialise with the couple and add yet another layer to the play with their own feelings, both overwhelming and ambiguous, towards parenting and children in general. Anna Lise Phillips, in particular, stands out with her funny and tragic portrayal of a new mother and shows just how complex we have made what used to be merely life. 
That this play is constantly coupled with the word ‘controversial’ is surprising. Australian plays can have the tendency to look so far into the personal that the big issues are never tackled, whereas this play is written and directed in a way where the personal magnifies these issues and actually makes the audience think and speak of them. If Simon had the chance to speak of his crime then maybe the future could have held some more hope for everyone concerned.
A great show, a definite must see. Seymour Centre 1-17 SeptemberParramatta Riverside Theatres 20-24 September Photo by Helen WhiteAmy Matthews and Glenn Hazeldine in Transparency 2011  Directed by: Tim JonesWritten by: Suzie Miller 

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