Sue Lee & Kosta Andrea Theatre Company, Sharks

Review in Issue 10-1 | Spring 1998

With a one-dimensional plot, three sketchy characters and a handful of dramatic devices, the Sue Lee & Kosta Andrea Company barely have enough material here to make a show. It’s a mistake then to stretch what little they have got over a ninety-minute format. What begins as whimsical and charming, becomes ponderous and soporific by the time the show grinds to its eventual halt.

This is a shame, because with more pace and some judicious editing they undoubtedly have the foundation for a nice production. In short, Sharks is a bleak and often witty portrait of three dysfunctional friends who share a grandiose plan to turn their squat into a cafe, but who are thwarted by inertia and petty squabbles. Sue Lee is a shy hippie, Conor Lovett an animated Irish dreamer, and Kosta Andrea the man with the plan to transform all three into money-making entrepreneurs.

The style is sparse and understated. Conor Lovett strikes the right pitch with his subtle and effortless characterisation. Sue Lee gets the most laughs, but her character is too thinly played to achieve real depth. She does pull off a striking transformation at the end of the show, but overall her performance is mannered and exploits only a few distinguishing character traits. The weak link here though is Kosta Andrea. His physical presence is huge, but his performance is insufficiently animated; he lumbers across the stage, dwarfing Lovett and Lee.

This is essentially a mood piece and, had it been thirty minutes shorter, its gentle charm might possibly have sustained it. But ultimately, the structure is too loose and the performances too slight to breathe life into an extended format.

Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-1
p. 27