Updated: Nov 15, 2019
A solid examination of coping with life’s often capricious nature, this play by Moontan Productions explores the complexities of grief and love through the lives and relationships of four young adults.
Staged in the revamped Flight Path Theatre, a part of the local-loved Addison Road Community Centre, Two Quarters Full is a brand-new work written and directed by Australian playwright, Iley Jones. This play aims to highlight the human response to grief and encourages us to understand, unlike life and death, that grief is not simple, it is not black and white. Recognising the reality that grief is not just bereavement but a significant loss of any kind, the feeling of a gaping hole, the discomfort of a missing piece that sends the mind and body into a whirlwind of emotional perplexity.
The four twenty-something characters weave in and amongst themselves, affecting and inspiring each other as they struggle to navigate their own predicaments. Christian (Misha Mehigan) is the wily lawyer, facing an uncertain future in his career when his past conduct is investigated and is only thrown into further turmoil when his estranged brother, Darren (Cheng Tang), reappears. A fervent gamer making a living as a real estate agent, Darren’s murky past, as well as the enduring strains in his family relationships, make it difficult for him to reconnect with his brother or his new romantic interest, Robin (Molly Haddon) – the consummate professional whose vulnerable side is unmasked in a new relationship and as she copes with her loss of home and comfort. Rounding off the quartet is Christian’s housemate Sarah (Alannah Robertson) who, throughout the play, must deal with the progressive loss of control over her motor skills as she comes to terms with the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Both Haddon and Robertson played well as their respective characters and brought a commitment both physically and emotionally that was crucial for this particular work and its overarching theme. Tang could have benefitted from incorporating touches of nuanced sentiment in his work but nevertheless brought a refreshing energy to the stage as Darren. Mehigan needed to bring a greater emotional clarity, specificity and a deeper exploration of the duplicity of his character. We lost our primary link to his experience of grief as it was difficult to connect with him. Together, Tang and Mehigan needed to strengthen the depth of the connection between them in order to construct a sibling dynamic that we could relate to.
The juxtaposition of the home and office within the set was a sound choice and one that could ring true for many people, perhaps as an embodiment of the blend of those two entities in one’s life that can be akin to a balanced lifestyle or an unhealthy mix of business and pleasure.
Jones has penned a story that yearns for nuance in every aspect – laughter with the tears, smiles with the frowns, the shades of light and dark that are the reality of navigating the tempestuousness of grief. An exposition about carving your route through the ups and the downs of life and dodging the almighty curveballs that try to knock you down. What we needed was a greater boldness and bravery in the transfer of script to stage to elevate the production to a level that synonymously challenged us and provoked us to question the ideas being put forward.
Venue Flight Path Theatre (Marrickville), 5th to 10th Nov 2019
Director Iley Jones
Playwright Iley Jones
Production Shots by Claudia Butters
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.