Words Claire Deakin / Photography Omnes Photography
The Big Bruise is not one to mince its words (or visuals, for that matter). Shuffling into the quaint theatre space, we are welcomed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari, the play’s director, who informs the room that, in addition to being confronted with the simulation of various methods of suicide (as was expected amongst those of us who read past the first line of the description), we would also have to endure the horror of frequently graphic and profane language, nudity, and *gasp* even a bit of pornography.
For those who tend to equate plays with doe-eyed, overacting starlets, cute musical numbers, and dancing scarecrows (guilty): you’re not in Kansas anymore. There is no plot, no dialogue, and no dancing (although there is a delightful Chaplinesque skit) so it’s best to leave those Toto-loving expectations at the door. What it lacks in performance tropes, however, it makes up for in artistic ingenuity. Sam Brewer, the play’s sole performer, delivers a compelling and oftentimes schizophrenic performance, oscillating wildly between intense self-hatred and youthful frivolity so as to confront us with the uncomfortably erratic reality of suicide and its ideations. There is no underlying agenda or intended “message.” We are simply invited to experience “the spectacle of self-destruction” for what it is.
Whilst that ‘what’ may remain ambiguous, true to its name, The Big Bruise is likely to leave a lasting impression.
Fancy being impressed upon? The good news is you still can! The bad news is you only have 3 nights left to do so, so grab a worthy friend(s) & get on down to 107 Projects @ 8pm this week to witness the creative lovechild of Brewer & Lusty-Cavallari (closing night: April 15). Tickets are available here.
The Big Bruise is produced by Montague Basement, written and directed by Saro Lusty-Cavallari and starring Sam Brewer. Claire Deakin writes about art and life over on her blog Speak Write Hear Wrong.