Theatre Review: Night Sings Its Songs – La Mama Theatre, Melbourne

On a cold Wednesday night in Melbourne a small selection of ‘in the know’ theatre goers headed down to La Mama Theatre in Carlton, Melbourne for the opening night of esteemed Norwegian play Night Sings Its Songs. Patrons mingled in the outside courtyard, anticipation growing with every passing moment, wondering just what they were in store for! The time finally arrived, the door swung open, and we stepped into looming darkness.

For the next hour we were taken on a tumultuous journey into the inner psyche of two very dysfunctional individuals. The story of their relationship opened a window to the audience through which we were presented with a myriad of pain and torment. The shocking thing about this display of dissociation and borderline hatred was that it was so relatable on so many levels. There were aspects of these two main characters personalities that every person in that audience could see reflected in themselves and in their relationships, and it was for this reason that the performance was so shockingly personal.

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The lighting designer (Shane Grant) must be commended for his exquisite use of light. The juxtaposition of light and dark manifested the depth of each character, and the colour red was ingenuously used to show the sheer terror and inner torment faced by our protagonists. Director Rodrigo Calderon’s utter joy at directing this work was evident in the great preparation that he took to ensure the audience was catapulted along with the characters on their journey of self destruction. The use of particular movements and repetitive verse were all pre meditated to ensure a particular emotion was felt by the audience. Calderon held our hearts in the palm of his hand, squeezing at just the right moment.

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What I most liked about this play was its simplicity. It didn’t need an extensive set or an overuse of props. It relied solely on the talents of the actors to draw the audience in and hold their attention with nothing but their words. The storyline touched nerves I didn’t know existed, and the pure raw emotion that was prevalent was extremely touching. A beautifully passionate play with the depth of an ocean.

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The Night Sings Its Songs is playing at the La Mama Theatre in Carlton, Melbourne until April 24. To grab tickets, call 03 93476142 or head to this link for tickets and more info.