Dropped

18 December 2015 | 4:13 pm | Sean Maroney

"It is a fresh take on the horrors of war and what they might look like to a woman provocatively — and sombre too."

Welcome to an absurdist human war story for the 21st century. The curtain is dropped and two soldiers sit, legs splayed, swathed in dirt. They are stoic and stern, one with a toothpick shoved callously in her mouth. Yep. The soldiers are women. They are the ushers of a new age where not only men talk of war through the eyes of the doomed youth on the front. Their story is of humanity amid chaos, but not the humanity we've come to expect through civilian housewives. Their displays of humanity are obsessive and unguarded. The fun that the women make of the situation is gendered and utterly alien to the archetypal male obsessions that would generally take the forefront. It is a primal reversion to self-preservation that we see in a new light.

The set and lighting design are subtle and effective. The actresses are quirky, and suitably so as Beckett's Waiting For Godot bleeds through the text and the stage's action. The two engage in offhanded repetition of jokes and phrases and start to blur time "Was it ages ago? Or just the other day?" This is a superb introduction to the contemporary absurd.

The production is universal and local. It is a fresh take on the horrors of war and what they might look like to a woman provocatively — and sombre too. The entire 60 minutes are understated and strangely overwhelming. Dropped is well measured; a special performance to receive.

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