CRAM Collective. Rumpus. 3 Jun 2022
Something Big is an intensely sophisticated piece. Anna Barnes has written a play comprising the shattered remains of what was a whole and unified friendship between three people. Thomas, Pia and Julia; absent a fourth friend, Geoff.
Thomas (Aarod Vawser), Pia (Ren Williams) and Julia (Melissa Pullinger) desperately re-enact the last time they dined together with this Geoff, sharing and commentating on this event in direct address to the audience. We are involuntary conscripts, observing some really personal stuff. Personal stuff these friends want erased from history.
Shards of memory, relationships, friendships, fears, and insecurities are played out in a powerfully effective, highly stylised form of taut, high-speed black comedy blended with a very low, yet obvious, dash of game show chutzpah.
Intertwined with this is the memory of an horrific plane crash which played a part in the problem being rebooted before our eyes.
Why do they need to? By show’s end we know. We are shocked.
Director Connor Reidy, with great finesse, produces a production spinning and swirling around the empty space in the room unseen, yet heard. The ensemble are three wickedly on point actors employing a solid dose of disciplined crazy; brave in performance.
The empty space in the room, Geoff, a bleak hole of absence the whole production spins around makes Something Big so powerful, mesmerising, hilariously dark and traumatic, thrown at (and through!) the audience via the arrow-sharp triangular thrust.
Reidy’s, granular exposition of Barnes text is powerfully aided by Tom Kitney’s lighting, sound and video design, in union with Kathryn Sproul’s subtle, apparently naturalistic, living room set. It becomes something far more other worldly and abstract overlaid with Kitney’s eerie series of projections, glass-breaking sound effects and flashing lights.
The CRAM Collective’s debut is an epic, utterly gripping and enthralling experience.
When: 2 to 12 Jun
Where: Rumpus 100 Sixth Street Bowden