After watching Murray Lambert’s latest play, I am honestly lost for words in the best possible way. It’s hard to know what to highlight first; the actor’s expert comedic timing, the ingenious use of space, the fresh perspective for an audience saturated on this social justice issue, the ideal balance between light and dark, or Lambert’s undeniably brilliant writing-directing that shines through it all. I suppose we’ll go in that order.
My Father’s Left Testicle contains a 5-person army of actors ready to quip, challenge and connect with one another. The constant electricity between them all brings an unstoppable energy and interest into an audience, and provides the wake up call to the desensitised that Lambert aims for. It is near-impossible to find a standout in the cast, with everyone steadying comedy and insightful drama through their characters which change scene to scene.
Robert Carne is a blessing, undertaking various personas and finding a way to bring each of them a human nature you connect with through more than laughter, which is a testament to his professionalism.
Ideal for his roles, Matt Laush is the only man in Sydney you’d still want to watch after slapping a woman’s ass. He transforms so fluidly that you forget it is the same man from before which is now protesting for human rights. Laush is consistently strong and masculine, but manages to bring an entire range to the traits that young male actors rarely do.
Avoiding a type-cast in a multi-persona projection like a star, Emily McGowan’s characters are differing enough that all that connects them is that they care. They give a damn about their situations and the situations of others, and her portrayal of this caring is the most relatable thing on stage. McGowan shows us who we are, we being highly inclusive as she distinguishes politicians, social justice warriors, and citizens of this planet. Also doubling as Producer and Costume Designer, this young lady can do it all and pull it off smoothly. I cannot give enough praise for her abilities, and I’m highly inclined to keep an eye out for any future productions she does.
Unashamedly dramatic and taking risks like no one else, Nicholas O’Regan shines in My Father’s Left Testicle and sets a new standard of absurdity-meets-realism in a performance. His delivery is incomparable, an actor who truly has his own style that few on stage or screen can muster. Another great standout whose future endeavours are working keeping track of.
The hilarious woman we wish we were, Kristelle Zibara is witty, deliciously excessive, and a classic. Every moment she opened her mouth you were perched for a zinger. Even though she had the most consistent comedy-run in her characters, she still managed to ground herself for a finale that gave chills. There is no greater testament to skill than an actress who can grinningly bring you close, only to drop your heart.
A great cast can be let down by a less than great stage, but the production crew have transformed Depot’s space into the perfect setting for a charged a memorable night out. John Alan Sullivan, responsible for the understated yet raunchy set design and construction is an absolute artist. The moment you step into the space you’re ready for a journey, and the physical transformations scene to scene are my favourite I’ve ever seen.
Light Designer Mehran Mortezeai is to thank for the end-of-show shivers I still remember distinctly. It would be impolite and a cop out not to mention the necessity of stage hands Maddison Huber and Jeremy Lowrencev who make the performance all the more immersive and timely. Last but not least, Aly O’Doherty undertakes a stage manger role for the production and I am doubtless her organisation, efficiency and production skillset set helped result in the beauty onstage.
Production triple threat Murray Lambert acts as Writer, Director and Producer on this amazing show. Familiar with his audience and their thoughts, Lambert doesn’t try to preach to the converted, instead opting to wake us up from the passivity Australian society lulls into after a few weeks of no news about refugees. The writing is like a breath of fresh air; exactly what you didn’t know you needed, and should be exposed to a hell of a lot more. Ingenious, addictive and clear from start to finish, this complex performance is one I will be talking about for weeks.
Unfortunately, My Father’s Left Testicle finished it’s run on Sunday, but be assured that should the performance ever be shown again, I will be first in line for a ticket. And I’ll let you all know about it too.
Sabrina Stubbs – Theater Now and Talking Arts