Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:14

Trollop: Theatre Review

Drawing inspiration from the devastation of the 2011 floods, ‘Trollop’ is a creative foray that explores how they affected those who were not directly hit – the ‘lucky ones'.

Overwhelmed by the destruction she obsessively watches on her television, Clara (Amy Ingram) hides herself away from the world while her partner Erik, (Anthony Standish) does his best to be happy for the both of them. However, we learn his relentless positivity hides his own demons.

Clara — a children’s author — has a wild imagination, but instead of helping her tell playful stories; it is filled with nightmarish visions. Adding to the growing tension is the arrival of a stranger in the night – Eugenie (QTC newcomer Lucy-Ann Langkilde) – who “brings the End of Days to their door”.

Winner of the 2012/ 2013 Queensland Premier's Drama Award – there is much to like about Maxine Mellor’s multifaceted vision, which not only looks at helplessness and a crumbling relationship, but also incorporates old myths and internet trolling.

It is wonderfully staged, with the stark white of the couple’s apartment contrasting with the debris outside and the images of destruction and Clara’s nightmares that are projected on their walls.

Mellor’s characters hurtle through their lives exposing each fragility and in this end, the performances are uniformly effective, Standish especially so. If the audience are looking for neat resolutions – this is not the play for them. In the end however, it suffers from trying to juggle too many ideas when focusing more deeply on a few might have been more satisfying.

‘Trollop’ plays at Queensland Theatre Company’s The Greenhouse at 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane until August 17.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 17:01

Trollop: Theatre In Preview

If someone calls you a trollop, you can usually be assured that they don't like you, or the activities you are getting up to. Generally used to describe someone who is perceived as sexually disreputable or promiscuous, 'Trollop' is the latest production for QTC and is a tale of romance that starts to unravel and uncover alarming truths.

Starring local actress Amy Ingram as Clara and written by Maxine Mellor and featuring a talented cast including Lucy-Ann Langkilde and Anthony Standish, 'Trollop' is a theatre experience that will make you squirm.

Describe the show in 5 words?
Dark, funny, twisted, isolated, and just a bit messed up.

What is your role and how did you come to be involved?
I play the role of Clara (the Trollop). I was lucky enough to be involved over the play's development as an actor with Playlab, QTC and The Lord Mayor’s Fellowship. Then I was asked to be in the final production. Hurrah!

Your fav. line in the play and why?
Hmm, well I don't say much actually but I do quite like Eugenie's line (another character in the play) — "I bring the end of days to your door" — because actually she kinda does.

What can audiences expect when they come to watch?
Some dark moments, some surprises and maybe the chance to change their mind about a few things.

Can you describe a typical rehearsal?
We talk a lot, get up on the floor, try things out. It is just about finding the right pathways and staying connected as characters within the story. Sometimes we get things wrong and sometimes we smash it (Wesley, our Director, really doesn't understand this saying). We also have fun.

What has your preparation for this role entailed?
As I was involved in earlier developments, I have been able to sit with the script for a while and I also do a lot of outside reading and watching different interviews on Youtube. I listen to certain music and I also look for clues in everyday life that can be linked back to the story.

What about your character do you relate to? What don't you understand?

Clara is a tricky one. I'm still working her out to be honest. But I recognise things in her for sure. I understand how she switches off from what is happening otherwise it's too overwhelming. I think we westerners certainly have a way of shutting down to what is going on in the world around us. Outer empathy gets duller and duller with every new tragedy or disaster. Without giving too much away, what I find hard as opposed to not understanding, is the way her brain works/ the imbalances and figuring out when she shifts from one emotion to the next. It really changes from character to character depending on how like or unlike you they are — but that's the fun part/ the challenge navigating your way to get your character under your skin.

If you could have a dinner party and invite 6 guests - who and why?
Hmmm depends. Fun dinner party? Or one of those deep philosophical dinner parties? I think I'd just like to have a dinner party with six hot dudes all fighting for my affections. Kidding (but no not really).

Any crazy/ weird/ funny stories from behind-the-scenes?
What happens in the rehearsal room, stays in the rehearsal room.

What's the best relationship advice you've ever received?
Don't settle. You should be better together.

Anything else our readers should know?
That they should come! This is an amazing new play by a Brisbane playwright about things that affect us here and now. You won't be bored. I promise.

'Trollop' will be staged at the Bille Brown Studio, QTC from August 1-17.

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