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BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE REMOVALISTS.

THE REMOVALISTS, one of David Williamson’s revolutionary works, is back at the New Theatre with gusto, guts and gravitas.

BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE REMOVALISTS.

BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE REMOVALISTS.

THE REMOVALISTS, one of Williamson's revolutionary works, is back at the New Theatre with gusto, guts and gravitas.

We open on a cop station where new recruit Constable Neville Ross (Lloyd Allison-Young ) is being trained, tested and taunted by the 'old guard', Sargent Dan Simmonds (Laurence Coy).

Simmonds intimidates Ross to become the next generation of chauvinistic, brutal and power-hungry policemen.

Simmonds demonstrates his version of authority on sisters Kate (Shannon Ryan) and Fiona Carter (Eliza Nichols). The women have arrived at the station to report on husband Kenny Carter (Alfie Gledhill) for domestic abuse.

Sargent Simmonds convinces Fiona to let him help her escape her home life with the expectation of sexual favours in return. The plan is to escape when her husband is away at Friday night drinks. But Kenny has decided to come home early, to prey on his wife under the guise of domestic bliss.

That night, the Removalist (Xavier Coy) arrives to the confusion of Kenny. They argue with the removalist intent on doing his job. When the surprised Kate comes to help Fiona, Kenny argues with the two sisters about his presence and about his ability as husband and provider.

The cops, Simmonds and Ross, arrive to find Kenny at home, they change their tactic and arrest him with brutal force.

The night's events unfold to explore toxic relationships, power plays, suburban angst, corruption, along with the good and evil that lies within everybody.

Lloyd Allison-Young, Laurence Coy, Xavier Coy, Alfie Gledhill Eliza Nicholls, Shannon Ryan
Shannon Ryan, Laurence Coy, Eliza Nicholls, Lloyd Allison-Young.

Director Johann Walraven has created a superb ensemble cast. Their collective energy and cohesion work to engage one into this extreme example of suburban Australia. The cast's passion and commitment create characters with depth, conviction and truth. Walraven has used their outstanding performances to build a company that embodies Williamson's vision. Walraven's 'mis en scene' is engaging, surprising, scary, moving and revealing.

Laurence Coy portrays a domineering Sargent that abuses his position to gain a sense of power and self belief. He does this in lecherous and brutal ways. Coy's performance is tremendous in representing the stereotypical emotionally stunned male. Coy's timing and approach succeeds in portraying this character that challenges your understanding of those in authority.

Xavier Coy (the Removalist) is spot on as the every man, who prefers to sit on the fence and refrain from involvement. He represents the aspect of society that will watch and not act. This leads to some of the many comic moments. It also adds to reminding us about a society that is lacking.

Lloyd Allison-Young is perfect as the smart and keen yet unsure new constable. He portrays the fresh-faced recruit with depth and conviction. He deftly takes Ross through extraordinary changes of character.

Eliza Nicholls as Fiona Carter is the ultimate cautious woman who reluctantly deals with the power plays of her male world. In her silences we see the anguish and despair with wonderful delicateness.

Shannon Ryan as Kate Mason portrays the middle class confident sister who has her own tainted traits. Ryan does this with skilful insight and finesse.

Alfie Gledhill is astounding. He utterly embodies Kenny Carter. A powerhouse performance where he is the brutal, demanding, chauvinistic and troubled presentation of a certain masculinity. He takes on the role and with excellence and gives us an engrossing portrayal. Carter is a man that understands he is in a toxic world and finds a way to survive it. He responds with aggression and a silenced desperation. Gledhill's physical ability is as accomplished as his performance. The way he melds the fight scenes and the injured physicality with the reality of Carter is superb.

Lloyd Allison-Young, Laurence Coy, Alfie Gledhill Eliza Nicholls
Lloyd Allison-Young, Laurence Coy, Alfie Gledhill Eliza Nicholls, Shannon Ryan, Xavier Coy

Walhaven has made some new choices, (no spoilers here) that not only give relevance to the work but show us how a fifty year old Play is frighteningly pertinent. This production certainly takes one on a journey through the various themes with emotion and passion.

On the one hand it's wonderful to see the excellent work of Williamson. Yet it is upsetting, frightening and demanding that the themes are still prevalent today.

And yet, It's wonderful in these times, where the world is almost shut down, that not only are we able to attend theatre, but able to experience such an excellent and superb Australian production. A work that is one to remember.

A must see show.

BWW REVIEW: Guest Reviewer Kym Vaitiekus Shares His Thoughts On THE REMOVALISTS.
Lloyd Allison-Young, Laurence Coy, Eliza Nicholls, Shannon Ryan,
Xavier Coy, Alfie Gledhill

Photos © Bob Seary for New Theatre.

Main image: © stevanovicigor/iStock

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