Anima Productions, Red Mackintosh

Review in Issue 9-2 | Summer 1997

Written and directed by Natasha Klugman, Red Mackintosh is a poetic study in loneliness and rejection. Fenella D’adido takes the lead as the failing actress who confides her fears and aspirations in an extended stream-of-consciousness monologue. The red leather mackintosh of the title is D’adido’s protective shell in the threatening city – her talisman to ward off danger in a patriarchal world of bullies, cheats and liars.

Klugman’s writing is fluid and voluble. Therein lies both the strength and the weakness of the piece. There are flashes of true lyrical beauty in the text, which moves in waves from the colloquial to the abstract. However, as with most stream-of-consciousness, there are passages in which some judicious editing would not have gone amiss. Consequently, the moments which sparkled were frequently buried, and the piece lacked an overall sense of control.

Stylistically, Red Mackintosh was a peculiar blend of naturalistic dramatic exposition and poetic, image-based surrealism. Not a problem in itself, had the two strands not seemed to be fighting with each other for expression. It did not seem necessary for a writer of such obvious originality to saddle herself with a rather conventional and linear narrative structure. I would have liked to see the piece explore its abstract themes with greater conviction and lose some of the more obtuse moments of dramatic cliche. D’adido was supported by a competent cast. Hayley Gearon’s obvious talents were a pleasure to watch although sadly under-used.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-2
p. 25