Review | LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE (Subtle Nuance)

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Set in New York City, 1942, in the midst of WWII, this production by Subtle Nuance is a riveting work of fiction taking inspiration from the life of 20th century philosopher and political activist, Simone Weil.

Staged at the Old 505 Theatre as part of FreshWorks, Life is Impossible is a production that allows us to look at a dark era in history through the eyes of two very different women. The first is Simone Pourpre, a hard-headed, truth-driven woman desperate to get back to Europe and do her part in the war effort. The second is Elaine, an Australian living in New York who is captivated by Broadway, bright lights and dreams for the future. Through these two women, we are faced with a moral conflict that propels our sense of provocation throughout the story.

All four cast members (Matt Abotomey, Cormac Costello, Elle Harris, Chloe Schwank) were equally strong in their roles. Each brought an innate sense of vigour and zeal to the stage, particularly Schwank and Harris when they fought passionately for their beliefs.

Lighting designer Artie Hotchkies’ work was charming. The colouring perfectly captured the ambience, particularly during the romantic scenes and the integration with the back wall set piece was an absolute delight.

Writer/Director Paul Gilchrist has woven and beautifully rendered this story based upon elements of Simone Weil’s life but the beauty of it in this particular production comes from its juxtaposition with the life of Elaine. It reminds us that during times of turmoil (and often terror), we can often find ourselves unsure of how we are feeling, how we should react or what we should do. If the turmoil does not directly affect you, is it more prudent to look for beacons of hope and follow your own dreams or do you have an intrinsic moral obligation to try and do something, anything, to help? This production will provoke you to ask yourself life questions that you may indeed find... impossible to answer.


Venue Old 505 Theatre (Newtown), 18th to 23rd February 2020

Director Paul Gilchrist

Writer Paul Gilchrist

Cover Image and Production Shots by Syl Marie Photography

DISCLAIMER: This and all other reviews posted by A Millennial with an Opinion/JTA Official/Jessie Trompp are the honest personal opinions of a theatre-goer and are not reflective in any way of the opinions of others who have seen the production.

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