You don’t have to be a fan of Ingmar Bergman films to enjoy the STC’s production of Face To Face. This is an interesting theatrical adaptation of one of Bergman’s more challenging works. However, to label it as a psychological thriller – as the STC does in its synopsis – is misleading. It is rather an uncomplicated look at the complications involved in a mind unravelling.
Kerry Fox as Jenny owns this show and provides the perfect pivot point for the rest of the cast. Her performance is a tour de force through the emotional minefield of a woman on the edge of reason. Fox is perfectly cast and the emotional range she displays throughout this production is quite spectacular.
Simon Stone’s direction is unadorned and in this case the simplicity works. Nick Schlieper’s set design is elegant and provides a clear disconnect between realities for the audience.
Face to Face is about the futility of life and the seemingly endless and senseless quest for happiness for happiness’ sake. This is worthy but uncomfortable theatre to watch which is not made easier by running at nearly two hours without interval.
Until Sep 8, Wharf Theatre, Pier 4, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, $40-130, 9250 1999, sydneytheatre.org.au