Arts & Entertainment

Review: Is It Time

Photo: Thomas Adams

Is It Time, a work by Australian actor, writer, and musician Martin Ashley Jones, premiered at King Street Theatre this month. It ambitiously attempts to cover a wide range of issues related to love, ageing and death with varying levels of success.

The plot centres on an elderly couple, Eva and Jim Rogers, played by Sylvia White and Ross Scott, as together they face the prospect of certain death in the guise of terminal illness.

Jones clumsily handles the female experience of ageing throughout the play. Eva unknowingly farts after dozing off to the embarrassment of the men in the scene, while fellow aged care facility resident Jessie, played by Eva Kitching, becomes hysterical upon touching the skin of the young Rosie, played by Lauren J. Jones, rocking as she cries “I remember this”.

It is widely discussed by the more coherent characters in the play that Jessie “hasn’t been the same” since the passing of her husband, making the point that women lose their purpose and identity without a man to anchor it.

Jones also has his characters perform lengthy, Shakespearean-like monologues, full of poetic language and poetic thoughts. While these speeches could have been powerful, the actors fail at delivering them with natural pace and rhythm, so that they never don’t sound like lines being read off a piece of paper.

The last third of the play turns into a political statement on the subject of euthanasia without any prefacing or depth to the dialogue. It almost feels as though the audience were lured in under a pretense, only to be tricked into being a part of the writer’s political motivations.

Is It Time would have been more successful if it had focused on one or two of the themes and allowed time for them to develop organically. It also requires a more dignified and sophisticated approach to ageing to be a more authentic representation. (CB)

Until Jun 5, Tue 6.30pm, Tue-Sat 7.30pm and Sun 5pm. King Street Theatre, 644 King St (Cnr Bray St) Newtown. $27-$35. Tickets & info: kingstreettheatre.com.au

 

BY CAITLIN BURNS

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