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Review: Aeonian, at Etcetera Theatre

Brutal, poetic and filled with mysticism, playwright Vesna Vivian Hauschild exploration of motherhood is exceptional

08 June, 2017 — By Elmira Tantarova

‘The small cast makes the room seem bigger’ – Aeonian

VESNA Vivian Hauschild’s play is in equal parts touching and unsettling; a difficult feat, when one of the protagonists is both an unborn foetus, and Salvador Dali’s dead mother.

The opening introduces a woman in black (Kat Boart) holding a candle as she accounts the old souls she has housed. Dali’s mother is one among said souls, claiming to be in search of her son, whom she finds reincarnated in Warren, an up-and-coming academic (Davey Seagle).

Mistral, his girlfriend, also has promising prospects as a professional dancer… until it is revealed that she is pregnant.

Boart grows into her roles as not only Warren’s/Dali’s mother, but also his expected child.

Martha Carvalho’s Mistral is both stirring and tragic, adding an incredible physicality to the role that is impressive and unnerving. Seagle too is memorable, not letting his character’s quiet and calm mannerisms dull his role.

While the set is simple, the cast creates space, time and context with dialogue, movement and lighting.

The playwright’s exploration of motherhood is exceptional, and avoids recycling tired themes. The small cast makes the room seem bigger, and animates it with their brilliant vigour and a script that is both poetic, filled with mysticism, and relatable to audiences in its simple brutality.

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