Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

Blame Traffic

"a dance between humour and hurt"

Audrey review: A new play reimagines Sydney traffic as a space where lives touch, overlap, and violently intersect.

Text size
Text size
Add to favourites

Blame Traffic

Date: 19 Nov 2018

The lives of a lawyer, an Uber driver, two insurance workers and other Sydney commuters converge in a moment in Michael Andrew Collins’s new play, a comedy of errors where the pinnacle error is a tragedy.

Reimagining traffic as a shared space where lives touch, overlap, and unexpectedly impact each other, the story hovers around a car crash involving Uber driver Gabriel (Alex Stylianou) in which his passenger, Lilo (played by Violette Ayad), died.

Lilo’s best friend and insurance company co-worker Sara (Mary Soudi) finds herself simultaneously investigating the death, both as an insurance claim and a personal tragedy. Little does she know how Lilo’s actions affected other characters in the chain of events.

It’s a dance between humour and hurt where no party can escape blame.

Each character gets a moment, a single scene, to communicate their role with another character – like two cars meeting at an intersection and then never again. The most compelling thread of these accumulated stories is an inadvertent conspiracy between Lilo and Gabriel’s brother Radu (doubled by Stylianou). Their blend of eccentricities (Lilo’s road rage; Radu’s unemployment) add gentle absurdity to the world of the play.

The actors work on a black stage. Screens display red, yellow and green. Designer Patrick James Howe’s use of traffic light symbolism is inventive though eventually dulled by repetitive rearranging and the unnecessary indication of scene changes.

Actors walk across the stage in syncopation but without any real impact for delineating scenes and spaces. Alternation between monologue and duologue places the audience in an ambiguous position and throws the pacing somewhat.

Stylianou plays his role as a misunderstood villain delicately and is wincingly charming once you know where his night ends up. Collins’ direction plays up the humour of his characters, finding nuggets of discomfort and selfishness that drive unbelievable actions. But this often comes to the detriment of Soudi’s character, whose earnestness becomes grating.

Content
The Dance of Death
Add to favourites
ArchivedBelvoir, Surry Hills, Sydney 10 Nov - 23 Dec 2018

The Dance of Death

Audrey review: A dream-team combination falls disappointingly flat in Belvoir's final show of 2018.

The Wild Party
Add to favourites
ArchivedSeymour Centre, Chippendale, Sydney 15 - 24 Nov 2018

The Wild Party

Audrey review: Indie company Little Triangle throws a swinging party crowded with songs and personalities.

The Overcoat
Add to favourites
ArchivedBelvoir Downstairs, Surry Hills, Sydney 14 Nov - 1 Dec 2018

The Overcoat

Audrey review: Belvoir’s 25A has produced some excellent shows in its inaugural year. The Overcoat is up there with the best of them.

See More

More to see

View All
All My Sleep and Waking
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld 505 Theatre, Newtown, Sydney 28 Nov - 22 Dec 2018

All My Sleep and Waking

As a father approaches death, his three children try to reconcile three very different experiences of the same man.

The Club
Add to favourites
ArchivedBelvoir Downstairs, Surry Hills, Sydney 7 - 22 Dec 2018

The Club

A bold new imagining of David Williamson’s classic 1977 play by all-female theatre company isthisyours?

The Laramie Project
Add to favourites
ArchivedSeymour Centre, Chippendale, Sydney 28 Nov - 8 Dec 2018

The Laramie Project

Theatre Travels presents a new production of a landmark verbatim play and its sequel.

The Smallest Hour
Add to favourites
ArchivedGriffin Theatre, Kings Cross, Sydney 5 - 15 Dec 2018

The Smallest Hour

Storytellers Phil Spencer and Susie Youssef relate a tale of broken dreams, second chances and velcro pants.

Top