Driving to the Bakehouse Theatre in Angus Street took longer than I expected and, running late after a long day, I found my sense of humour fading and a darker mood taking over. But as I soon discovered, it was not nearly as dark as men’s mood can get.
The Darker, written and directed by Martin Christmas, is a one-man play about Dave the Demonstrator, played with energy and commitment by dynamic young Adelaide actor David Daradan.
If you are seeking an insight into the evolution of men in the era of feminism, then your sensibilities may be in for a jarring. This is more about the universal, historical man who fights violent battles within himself and without in a flawed quest for acceptance, love and sex.
There is audience interaction and dark humour as Dave demonstrates various aspects of man. However, the positive personas – gentle, vulnerable and sensitive man – are handled with a degree of cynicism and seemingly inevitable failure. The angry, dark, psychopathic and grossly sexual man comes across as frighteningly real. It seems like an uneven fight.
There is clever use of props and subtle changes in dress, undress and appearance, which create dramatic effects. Dave’s spectacles, a powerful symbol of respectability, almost steal the show.
This is raw live theatre in an intimate setting with the actor almost on top of the audience. A worthwhile Fringe experience.
The Darker is playing at the Bakehouse Theatre Studio, 255 Angus Street, until February 22.
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Click here for all InDaily’s 2014 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews.
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