The Times have described it as “heart stopping” and “wildly intoxicating”, whilst The Australian has said “make no mistake; this is engrossing live theatre”.
Brevity Theatre’s rendition of Tender Napalm does not miss the mark, and is an exhilarating exploration of love and tragedy. The setting, time and characters remain unspecified, and instead the play’s focus is simply on the unfolding, real time drama. Through chilling monologues and conversations, Tender Napalm is an exhilarating, poetic dissection of a relationship, distorted by memory and imagination, war and destruction.
At times throughout the performance I felt lost, however several recurring phrases and locations thread somewhat disjointed scenes together – it is not until the final scenes that the play comes together as a unified whole.
Actors Jordan Cowan and Tim Franklin provide a brilliant portrayal of the characters, utilising every corner of the performance space. Cowan and Franklin complement each other perfectly. Their intense energy really captures the audiences’ attention leaving you hanging off every sentence, thirsting for more.
Due to the intimacy of the Old Fitz Theatre, there were times where both Cowan and Franklin looked directly into my eyes as they spoke, which added to the raw emotional power of the performance, making it feel more personal.
As a balanced mix of intense raw emotion relieved by witty one-liners, Tender Napalm is an explosive piece of live theatre. (NB)
Jan 19–30. The Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo. $25. Tickets and info: oldfitz.com
BY NYSSA BOOTH