peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2012 03 24 Version1.0 TheTableOfKnowledge

Version 1.0: The Table of Knowledge

/noise/theatre | Link

I bought a ticket to this Saturday matinee at the Carriageworks ages ago, when I was optimistic that I'd get stuff finished by mid-March. As it is I'm strung out on caffeine and lack of sleep (due to the excessive hours of the nearby construction works and not, unfortunately, on my part) and wondering if I'll ever get it in the can.

This was my first trip back to the theatre in about six months, since the couldn't-possibly-fail Summer of the 17th Doll at Belvoir. Structurally this is an hour show spread over about 1h 20min with an interval. There's the usual Version 1.0 multimedia schtick but they struggle to fill expansive Bay 20 at the Carriageworks with it despite the pews being packed.

The story tells itself: Wollongong Council (and as they emphasise, many others including Randwick) has been corrupted by the building development process. This is the "sex for development" tale that has dried up over the past few years, as the multitude of charges suggested by ICAC fail to stick. It's a fantastic story of corruption at the lowest levels of government, which have a lot of power but are typically ignored by the media, perhaps due to the lack of glam; this is not the "theatre for ugly people" recounted by Crabb et al.

This production is quite strong in the first half with David Williams spouting all sorts of polished bullshit, and the other actors some unbelievable tosh. Yes, the gambit is to hang the original players with their own words, and the set is used quite well to illustrate the development plans and ICAC proceedings. It flags somewhat later in the second half as we get a static Beth Morgan on the stand (ouch) for too long. Up to then movement was a welcome reprieve between torrents of intense verbiage (skillfully assembled, etc.). It would've been a blast to see it somewhere more on its scale, small, brutal and ludicrous. The old Performance Space on Cleveland Street where I saw Version 1.0 for the first time would have been perfect.