Black Mime Theatre, Heart

Review in Issue 5-1 | Spring 1993

Looking at the complexities of male/female interaction, Heart digs deep into the whys and wherefores of the extremes of love and pain.

The talented cast of six take us through scenes of family life, from the down-trodden wife and mother, to the pregnant woman’s misery at (and later defiance of) her uncaring partner. We move onto school children accurately imitating the gender roles of their parents (ably portrayed by knee-shuffling performers) and the adolescent nightclub mating game (a brilliantly conceived sex swapping send up of male egotism). With much humour and pathos, patterns of conditioned behaviour are traced through the generations, the ever present threat of male violence remaining constant.

Skilful direction from Denise Wong ensures expert timing, maintaining an energetic pace and a sharp articulation of ideas. While Heart does not offer any easy solutions or political rhetoric, it does take a refreshing look at some age-old problematic issues. Just as the men’s and women’s troupes of the company have combined for this project, we are left feeling that the sexes can only begin to tackle these problems together.

From the issue 5-1 collection of reviews, written by Jackie Adkins, Sarah Dawson, Desmond Jones, Jonathan Megaw, Shani Solomons, Brendan Stapleton and Paul Vates.

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