Black Swan Theatre Company
State Theatre, Perth
reviewed by Neville Cohn
It is no small achievement for two actors onstage for ninety unbroken minutes to hold the
undivided attention of an audience. Unexpectedly, the professionalism of actors Kenneth Ransom
and Martha Rovik was particularly tested midway through the performance when a member of the
audience took ill and needed to be assisted out of the theatre by ushers. Auditorium lights came up
very briefly during this hiatus.
An event such as this could so easily have lessened or even nullified the dramatic intensity so
painstakingly built up until that point. But the duo took this event completely in their stride,
maintaining their stage attitudes as if momentarily frozen until the ill theatregoer was assisted out
of the venue. Then, the play continued as if nothing had happened to intrude on its unfolding.
To give away what transpires in the closing moments of the play would be unfair to playgoers who
are yet to experience this fascinating and absorbing theatre piece. Suffice it to say that, in a secure
facility somewhere in the USA, we watch and listen to a series of conversations between lawyer
David Rail and forensic psychologist Dr Alice Lowe. Rail has sustained injuries in an accident
and it is the circumstances leading up to and surrounding that event which are the essence of the
Occasionally, there was a need for Ransom to project his voice rather more emphatically. This
notwithstanding, ninety minutes flew by.
Trent Suidgeests’s lighting design was discreetly effective – and India Mehta’s set design was