Exploring the essence behind dreams and reality, Big Scary Animal have presented a remarkable production that hits home for its audiences.
A piece of theatre that’s edgy and unapologetic, ‘Savage In Limbo’ shined a spotlight on how hard it is to change your life.
Exploring themes regarding relationships, connections and despair, the play centred on five players who found themselves stuck in limbo (as the title would suggest). With their primal fear at the forefront of their decisions, we witnessed characters navigate challenging yet familiar scenarios.
Presented in association with Lucky Duck Café and Bar, the venue complemented the intimacy required for this production to be a success. Director, Anatoly Frusin, transported audiences to an intended scroungy bar in a Bronx neighbourhood, via a minimalistic set, tiny performance space and a no-frills approach.
The script, by playwright John Patrick Shanley, is beautifully written. It features an astounding tenderness that focuses on lost souls trying to understand their purpose; like jigsaw pieces trying to fit the puzzle of life. It’s an unsurprising concept that no doubt holds relevancy today.
The action played out at the back of the location, with patrons easily feeling a resemblance between the story and their current reality. In fact, the similarities between the setting/place of ‘Savage In Limbo’ and the café in Highgate Hill worked wonders. Almost interactive, ‘Savage In Limbo’ felt immersive and drove John Patrick’s words into the subconscious of each onlooker.
Actors Marika Marosszeky and Melanie Zanetti were standouts in their performances and stole the spotlight on numerous occasions. Marika embodied the sassy, seductive and wronged Linda Rotunda, and Melanie captivated as the baby-voiced alcoholic, April White. Both women embraced their heart-wrenching roles with a distinguishable panache. They compelled audiences to turn in their direction – even if it was to only watch their character’s reaction to an unrelated storyline.
Once again, Melanie delivered a memorable, raw and powerful scene that dealt with the struggles of sanity and perceived reality. As her character flashed back to Christmas, the audience was enamoured by her sense of being. The moment was strongly supported by Marcus Oborn, who played the short-tempered bartender, Murk. Marcus assisted the tragic transformation into something unpredictably comical – a quirk that happened more than once in the show.
Rounding out the cast were NIDA graduates Julian Curtis, as the sleazy and insecure heartthrob, Tony Aronica, and Zoe Houghton as the desperate and feisty virgin, Denise Savage. It was evident a camaraderie existed between the ensemble. Each actor moved about the space freely and without disruption – a challenge when the front row sat right at their feet.
As a whole, ‘Savage In Limbo’ created a desperate and lonely inferno, for a group of neurotic New Yorkers to play in. For those watching on, we were treated to some exciting theatre that involved a space in our community – making content relatable among those who dared to enter this purgatory.
With the season being a sell-out, it’s worth observing what this new theatre company does in its future.