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Feeling as if there is something missing

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Hayley Hopley

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Rowan Studti (standing) as Tommy and Wojtek Lipinski as David in The Beauty of Incomplete Things, a story of three men confronting their demons.

THE BEAUTY OF INCOMPLETE THINGS
DIRECTOR: Daniel Dercksen
CAST: Rowan Studti, Wojtek Lipinski, André Lombard
VENUE: Intimate Theatre
UNTIL: February 16
RATING: **

 

If incomplete things are beautiful, Daniel Dercksen’s new play is very beautiful indeed but the impression that remains with the audience as the action ends is one of unfulfilled potential and of something… incomplete.

The Beauty of Incomplete Things is constructed around one of the most reliable scenarios for generating intense personal drama – the psychological triangle. Three men (two gay, one straight) perform emotional arabesques in the claustrophobic atmosphere of an isolated forest cabin as they confront their individual demons to achieve liberation. Structurally, this work has much to commend it, with its obedience to the classic unity of place, action, and time.

The trouble is that when a play is produced, written, directed, and designed by one person, perspective is lacking to apply the requisite objectivity for its honing into worthwhile theatre. Dercksen’s script has some appealing lines, but it is over-written, inordinately long, and often of questionable relevance to the central theme. Judicious editing is definitely in order here.

Moreover, the quality of the acting is uneven; of the trio, only André Lombard (Lawrence) passes muster as an authentic character engaging the other personae with any degree of conviction. Wojtek Lipinski (David) merely speaks his lines, seldom making eye-contact with his interlocutor(s), which is a major flaw in a play so dependent on passionate interaction; Rowan Studti (Tommy) has the perfect physique for his role as a trophy masseur, but does not bring much warmth to his portrayal.

With a more compact script, tighter direction and a couple of cast-changes, The Beauty of Incomplete Things could offer rewarding viewing.

As it is, its promise is incomplete.

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