Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Theatre: A Number

Perth Theatre Company
Written by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Melissa Cantwell
Designer Bruce McKiven
Lighting designer Jon Buswell
Sound designer Peter Dawson
Featuring Kym Gyngell and Brent Hill
STC Studio until April 27

Kym Gyngell
There’s plenty of science fiction out there. In the Netherlands, in a re-created Palaeolithic ecosystem, scientists are reverse breeding to bring back extinct species like the auroch, the almost elephant-sized progenitor of modern cattle. From genetically modified harvests and barnyard clones to dinosaur DNA in glaciers, we are playing Dr Frankenstein with the matter that makes us. It seems more and more likely that the absurdly impossible is very possible indeed.
In Caryl Churchill’s A Number (first performed at the Royal Court in 2002 with Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig, and here revived by the Perth Theatre Company with Kym Gyngell and Brent Hill), a man approaching middle age discovers that he’s not alone in the world, that there are a number of hims out there.
A Number isn’t about the mechanics of cloning, or even its ethics per se, but the expectations parents and children have for each other, individual identity, the importance of trust for love and the mayhem that can erupt when it is shattered.
Be warned; this is no comedy, even of the blackest kind. A Number is a tough, testing story, made all the more confronting and thought provoking by the quality of its telling in this fine production. 

Link here to the complete review in The West Australian. My favourite reviewer in the whole world has also chimed in on A Number; link here and scroll down to page 64 for her take. 

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