Out of Fear is a new play, a psychological drama, touching on the sensitive issue of men’s mental health. Mental ‘unwellness’ is not specific to men, it’s just that when things go awry the damage can be profound.
Travers is a good guy who does something terrible. He wakes on a dirt track in the middle of the outback where it appears that he is rebuilding his life – the life he left in the city. There is a wife somewhere back in the past – Lara – and a mysterious man with whom he has a series of bizarre conversations. Piece by piece things are revealed and the enormity of what he is grappling with comes into focus.
Matt Thompson who plays opposite Travers (Chris Miller) is conscious of the sensitivities. “In rehearsals we’ve felt a growing sense of responsibility – if we’re not directly affected ourselves, we’ve got friends and family who are.”
While there are some pretty dark and distressing aspects to the story, it’s also a work that is full of hope. It’s the search for forgiveness and redemption – a ‘perennial’ of the human spirit. Thompson says: “This is a man trying to come to grips with the violence within himself, while finding a way to protect and love those precious parts of himself as well.” (GW)
Sep 3-14, Tap Gallery Theatre, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $26, sydneyfringe.com