The Space @ Venue 45
6-29 August, 16.10
Wide-eyed pioneers turned settlers. The hopes and dreams that founded a nation. A model of the Empire State Building; each window the gate to a story, a dream.
As these good looking young Americans took to the stage, an earnestness exuding from every syllable and gesture, I thought ‘I’ve consigned myself to an hour of sugar-sweet schmaltz by Preppy Productions …shoot me now.’
But I really must get my assumptions in check because that was grossly unfair. West Lethargy was an interesting, almost absurdist play led by a talented young cast who managed to serve up innocence without a side of cloying sentimentality. Yes, there were moments when Ellie, a hopeful, love-struck homemaker clutched a photo of her beloved, Tucker, to her chest and began to sing, that my heart made motions to sink, but it was oddly recaptured by the sincerity of this valid moment in the play.
I did feel that the talents of this cast were really showcased in the game they played towards the end of the piece, all of them displaying dynamism and energy not always fully realised in their characters up to this point, but perhaps I should allow for the title encroaching on their performance! Suzanne Lenz and Mikaela Feely-Lehmann should get special mention for utterly convincing, seemingly effortless portrayals, definitely young actresses that deserve to go far.
A satisfyingly open-ended play that pulls the audience in to the intimacy of a four-man neighbourhood without ever letting them get too comfortable or forget the enormity of what lies beyond our own little microcosms.