Title And Deed

17 October 2016 | 4:51 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

"The Man's stream-of-consciousness musings veer sharply from poignant to wryly comical."

Jimi Bani is the Man. The Man is the only person on stage in Title And Deed, Will Eno's meditation on home and otherness, currently playing Downstairs at Belvoir.

Eno's monologue is an interesting choice as one for Balnaves Foundation's Belvoir Indigenous Program. Though Eno is an American playwright, debut director Jada Alberts, a previous Balnaves Indigenous Playwright's Award winner, and Bani, bring a new significance to the piece as the Man talks about his idea of home and being displaced. For 70 minutes the Man's stream-of-consciousness musings veer sharply from poignant to wryly comical.

The densely packed monologue is directed at the audience and right from the outset Bani's warm, conversational style draws the patrons in. Though there are hints of physicality from Bani, it feels like Alberts has missed an opportunity to use such a powerful asset in Bani's arsenal. The piece has some absolutely dazzling lines for Bani to deliver, but there's a relentlessness to the 70 minutes that can sometimes leave you wishing that some of the better lines had more room to breathe. Overall, it is Bani's performance that audiences will remember. Together with Alberts, Bani has hit on just the right tone to give the audience plenty to think about as they walk out of the theatre.

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Belvoir Theatre presents Title And Deed to 6 Nov.