[THEATRE and PHYSICAL THEATRE/Drama ~ ADELAIDE FRINGE PREMIERE ~ NSW]
Studio at Bakehouse Theatre, Tue 22 Feb.
Situations such as those depicted in Hopes & Dreams are exactly why divorce is a good idea. The play is set in in the not too distant past when divorce was neither viable nor socially acceptable. Married couples endured toxic relationships for years on end while love turned into hate. Sure, divorce can leave its own trail of destruction but in many cases it has to be preferable to living a life locked in mutual misery.
And so we have Marion and Douglas enduring a pointless life together. She blames him for everything that is wrong in her life, and regularly reminds him. He plays the dutiful husband who tries to listen but is stuck in a fantasy where being successful at work and going fishing with your son makes you a man. He has zero skills to recognise – let alone process – the hate his wife feels for him.
Strong performances by both husband (Bernie Maxwell) and wife (Romina Tappi) brought the best out of a reasonable script. Maxwell was particularly impressive as he built slowly towards a crescendo of emotion. But there needed to be some kind of resolution, a point to their shared misery and it didn’t come. Why don’t they just leave each other? Why don’t they stop feeling sorry for themselves and start new separate lives?
This play would serve as an ideal first act of a longer production that explored such options. Otherwise it too feels a bit pointless.
Hopes & Dreams continues in the Studio at Bakehouse Theatre from 9pm until Sat 26 Feb.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.