Director: Tara Louise Notcutt
Performers: Lauren Steyn with Jaco Nothangel
Venue: Intimate Theatre
Until: November 6
Maybe it's because the James Joyce piece was running on Cape stages fairly recently and is still fresh in my mind that I am reminded of Molly Bloom upon stepping in to the Intimate Theatre to see Damage Control.
It too has a man already asleep on the bed when you come in and it too provides a picture of femininity fractalised in all its glory and foibles. Here the women aren't confined to pontificating from bed, though. They are up and about, actively trying to figure out how their lives have reached a certain point.
Damage Control provides snapshots of a blurry love triangle and the torrid emotions sustaining it. As far as I can tell, it tells the story of two women on each side of one man. The one is a wifely figure, who wears classy white linen trousers and buttoned shirts. |The other is a mistress-prostitute figure who wears a skimpy negligée and lingerie. Both harbour deep, seething resentment about the man, which manifests itself in different ways.
The play runs as a monologue, delivered by Steyn's characters toward the taciturn man, revealing the secret thoughts of these women.
Steyn is an engaging performer (pictured), with sparks in her eyes. You want to watch her and not just because she's wearing skimpy underwear for half the show.
The piece is short. Like, really short. About half an hour long. Brevity is laudable, and usually preferred, but here you feel that there is more to explore as the emotions being dealt with are complex and multistranded.
It's mature subject matter to be addressed by such young theatre-makers as Steyn, Notcutt and writer Amy Jephta.
It's underwritten in the sense that there just isn't enough writing. I've heard many, many good things about Jephta's writing and was frustrated with only being given glimmers of her talent.
When the performers take their bows, many audience members are taken by surprise and look around in bemusement.
What's most promising is that I was left wanting more.