BWW REVIEW: Twisted Minds Are Unleashed And Facades Fall When A Cat Goes Missing In WINK
Tuesday 5th August 2019, 7:30pm, KXT Kings Cross
Jen Silverman's WINK explores the what happens when civilized sensibilities are stripped away and true tendencies are let loose. Directed by Anthony Skuse, this dark twisted comedy is entertain if not more than a little perplexing in its twisted plot of dead cats and dodgy doctors.
The Wink of the title is Sofie's (Eloise Snape) beloved cat(Sam O'Sullivan) and main companion given her husband Gregor (Graeme McRae) is somewhat dismissive and unsympathetic to her life as a dissatisfied housewife. When Wink goes missing she's distraught and he is disinterested until the truth of the feline's whereabouts comes out in a therapy session with the inept Doctor Frans (Matthew Cheetham), who in some really unethical anomaly is treating both husband and wife separately. Gregor has gleefully skinned the cat and buried the body in the back yard whilst retaining the fur for his own nefarious purposes as part trophy and object of erotic engagement. With the doctor recommending that he supress his desires for the male cat and she supress her need for fulfilment and happiness, the two try to return to their lives but of course the recommended treatment of essentially 'get over it' and go on holiday isn't going to work.
Set and Costume designer Siobhan Jett O'Hanlon ensures that Sofie and Gregor and even Doctor Frans are all from the socio-economic group of fashion forward yuppies with a stage that serves the couple's home, the Doctor's office and his own home. A bold white aesthetic pervades from marble floor topped with plush rug and a solitary leather sofa bench. A wall of tessellated mirror tiles stretches across one end of the stage and large warped mirrors dominate the opposite wall adding to the underlying theme of twisted impressions and the image not matching the reality.
There is a formality about Sofie and Gregor's life as even when home she remains well dressed whilst cleaning and he maintains a sleek contemporary style of a corporate office worker who wants to be seen as still a bit more trendy than traditional. Doctor Frans is presented as a repressed and nerdy character trapped in a time warp with woollen vest beneath a tweed jacket. When Wink revives his furless form is presented with a grimed up O'Sullivan wearing only low slung skinny jeans.
While Snape and McRae present an intriguing couple in a broken marriage, both harbouring twisted fantasies, the more striking pairing is that of Cheetham's Doctor Frans and O'Sullivan's Wink. Cheetham delivers a portrait of an incredibly dubious psychologist that, due to harbouring so many of his own problems, probably isn't best placed to be offering assistance to anyone else. O'Sullivan's expression of the vengeful cat is hilarious and sinister as he subtly adopts feline mannerisms from the staring into their human's face in the morning when they want food and plonking themselves down for a preen and wash whenever they feel like it. With outstretched leg and overlayed sound of purring it is half expected that O'Sullivan would be lithe enough to go in for the full cat expression.
Utterly absurd but with an undertone of a message about how close humanity really is to savagery, WINK is an amusing 70 minutes of theatre that will have you contemplating and considering what the people around you really want to do.