Drenched (3 stars)

Touring

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NEW PLAY

There’s something that doesn’t ring true about playwright Gary Young’s portrayal of a disturbed young woman in Drenched. Played by Melanie Wilson in this 60-minute solo, Cassandra sees herself as a victim of an egotistical mother and a subservient father. Damaged by the lack of maternal care, she retreats to her bathroom where, revelling in her privacy, she entertains ideas of suicide and murder.

Or does she? Like the Greek prophetess whom no one believed, Cassandra is hard to figure out. It’s impossible to know whether her invisible boyfriends are real or even whether or not a bloody axe murder takes place. Such uncertainty gives the impression that Young is more interested in playing games with the audience than sharing insights into his character. Is she mentally unwell or just teasing us? The ambiguity is frustrating.

What’s not at all frustrating, however, is Mark Murphy’s production for Boilerhouse. He treats Becky Minto’s angular white bathroom set like an art installation, Lizzy Powell’s lighting a constantly shifting pattern of colour and shadow, Nathaniel Reed’s score a bubbling soundtrack of watery keyboards. With Wilson’s carefully choreographed movement, the show has everything going for it expect clarity of purpose and emotional punch.

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