BWW Reviews: FRACTURE Keeps Us Guessing in Bathroom Drama at Old Fitz Theatre
Something terrible has happened. By the time you realise it's still happening, you will be too drawn into what seems like the closest thing to normal each of three housemates can enjoy. In Lucy Clements' quick-and-the-dead script, secure comprehension is slippery in the audience's grasp, which her doubling as director continually turns the tables through the latest late show at Old Fitz. Dark yet endearing, Fracture fits splendidly, although surreptitiously, into their edgy canon of Australian stories.
Poised for greatness, Brandon McClelland masters the fragile and traumatised Charlie on the run from the responsibility of premature parenthood and postpartum depression, still plagued by the memory of his baby daughters drowning at the hands of his partner Grace. Kate Cheel swallows whole the role of villain, but leaves a lingering insecurity with every line and motion as to what kind of monster she is or isn't. In Charlie's are his two housemates, played sparklingly by Contessa Treffone and Tel Benjamin. She nurtures, he makes light; she sympathises, he supports; she disciplines, he antagonises and there is a sense from the beginning that the relationship between them all has been equally twisted by the infanticide. Treffone is a complete natural, and at her deadliest of seriousness, halting in her performance. Benjamin executes a charisma and barely-bound sexuality with an intellectual and authentic delivery.
The Carollian set that breaks about every rule of mime is a fantastic contributor to the warped nature of the energy evoked by the performers and text, and Michael Toisuta's sound design is next level in terms of creating an entire universe of daily milieu and night terror to shake the audience to their cores. On top of being a compelling script, commendations must go to Clements for a strong piece of writing and direction that took solid hold of issues like mental health - especially for men, young parenthood, trauma and grief, toxic relationships and of course the ever growing danger of addiction to Mario Kart. Worth a late night, worth keeping tabs on these creatives whose stars are rising rapidly.