22 March 2016 | 4:37 pm | James Daniel

"One of the more sleepy experiences we've had at Red Stitch."

Splendour by Abi Morgan is a rhythmic performance piece that investigates power, politics and strength from the perspectives of four women who find themselves in the middle of a violent revolution. As the single scene repeats over and over, different parts of their stories are highlighted and new ideas come to light. It is a fascinating concept, beautifully written, but not entirely pulled off in this production by Jenny Kemp for Red Stitch.

The performances were generally strong, although styles clashed — particularly between Belinda McClory's bold (at times over the top) Micheleine and Rosie Lockhart's natural and nuanced Kathryn. Jenny Kemp's direction started out strong, but didn't handle the lengthy repetitious nature of this piece well. After an hour of little personal investment in character or story the production began to weigh towards soporific, and interesting elements brought in at the beginning weren't explored more deeply. The rationale for actors having different performance styles was never clarified, nor were we able to discern whether the set sourcing was lazy or served a purpose (eg. Kathryn's driver's licence for this Eastern European country was clearly Australian, their boutique chilli vodka was a plain old bottle of Smirnoff Red, and Micheleine had 1970s telephones positioned alongside her DVD collection). All in all, an interested conceptual piece, but the lack of any real cohesion (or rationale for the lack thereof) rendered an otherwise strong text and performances into one of the more sleepy experiences we've had at Red Stitch.