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Rust & Bone - Sydney Festival -

Rust & Bone
Jan 25th 2013 | Dave Drayton
Commentating on the task of adaptation, Caleb Lewis says that when he took on Craig Davidson's short stories he imagined a symphony. Its movements share dark, private thoughts that, rather than reverberating off Michael Hankin's set design – an appropriately no-frills concrete pit – instead fill it, landing heavy like a punch from Sam Smith's boxing Eddie; or an opponent of James (Renato Musolino)'s dog falling exhausted to its side in the ring; or Ben (Wade Briggs)'s artificial leg, despised as it is by the man that puppeteers it.

Lewis's adaptation is taut, and Corey McMahon's direction ensures this arrangement remains legato throughout as stunning points of interception arise in these three stories – a 'hello girl' delivered to a dog soon rings a similarly flirtatious tone between two stoned amputees – as actors effortlessly take on new roles to populate one another's stories on the bare stage as crises careen together.

In each of these stories there are issues of pride, of retribution, and of stern self-assessment, and the cast hold nothing back; appropriately physical in their battles to save face, or a child, or a marriage. Lewis's symphony of Davidson's short stories is dark, somehow nearly staccato throughout with its blow after blow, but incredibly beautiful.

Griffin Theatre to Saturday 2 February

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