Saturday 28 February 2015

Flesh Eating Tiger review

The Owl and the Pussycat returns for its 2015 season with the Australian premiere of Flesh Eating Tiger, written by Amy Tofte. I’m not going to beat about the bush with this one, I was sorely disappointed by this production and it is not at all what I have come to expect from this theatre venue.

My biggest issue lies with the script. When looking at individual scenes, it can be funny and sharp, but as an overall story it is just one big mess. Flesh Eating Tiger follows the relationship between two people, “A Woman” and “Some Drunk” and the destructive nature of obsession and love. However, before we can even get to know who these people are, the narrative is going off in so many frenetic directions that I could not keep up, and halfway through I frankly stopped caring enough about these people to even try.

The story is incredibly convoluted, which is surprising given how the scenes just seem to repeat themselves throughout the duration of the play. It almost reached the point where if  “A Woman” cried one more time or “Some Drunk” got angry and shouted, I probably would have done the same thing.

Zak Zavod (Some Drunk) and Marissa Bennett (A Woman) show promise for what is some demanding character work but it did feel like the story was controlling their character’s choices rather than the other way around. There were moments where they did well but overall the performances still lacked the emotional depth and complexity needed to sustain such roles.

It is under the watchful eye of director Jason Cavanagh that Zavod and Bennett manage to deliver some great moments in Flesh Eating Tiger. He’s clearly pushed them to get to the level they do and has built some incredible trust between them to perform some of the more intimate scenes. Cavanagh brings some great moments to life and the film-noir scene sits firmly in place as one of the highlights of this show.

Unfortunately though, I walked out of Flesh Eating Tiger not having learnt anything or felt anything other than frustration and confusion. Sadly, this production feels more like a big presentation on pretentious self-gratification than the destructive capacity of relationships.

Venue: The Owl and the Pussycat, 34 Swan St, Richmond
Season: Until 7 March | Mon-Tues & Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Sat 2pm
Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Conc

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 28 February

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