As an artist, it seems that Charmaine Bingwa can do anything and probably does. As a singer and guitarist she has supported international performers like Demi Lovato, Rachel Platten and Fifth Harmony. She writes, she produces, she acts for the small screen, big screen and stage. Currently, she is bringing her seemingly endless energy to her role as Mrs Muller in Doubt: A Parable. “It’s a real actors piece”, says Bingwa, “I think that all too often these days we see theatre that is embroidered. You see performances as opposed to truth. Doubt is really stripped back – so raw, so truthful.”
Winning a raft of awards, including a Pulitzer prize when it first appeared in 2005, Doubt takes us to the turbulence of 1964, to a clash of worlds and a clash of truths. A stern Catholic nun and Bronx school principal suspects improper relations between a priest and a male student. “You have this sister who loves tradition and is set in her ways and this priest who represents this new world order. She is trying to solve this mystery and make people accountable but is also trying to stop the world from changing.” According to Bingwa, it is a special gift is to play opposite Belinda Giblin. “She is so cool – such a generous actor in terms of her time and energy and spirit. She is so talented – she knows her craft inside and out.”
The almost claustrophobic intimacy of the Old Fitz, seems to be the perfect space for Doubt. “It’s almost filmic” says Bingwa, “You’re in medium close-up all the time so you have to see what’s going on inside people.”
Until 3 June, Tues-Sat 8:15pm, Sunday 6:30pm. Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo. $30-42, www.redlineproductions.com.au
By Greg Webster.