NEON: Resplendence

Angus Cerini scares me.

In a good way.

In a way that I know his work is likely to disturb and confront me and make me want a glass of wine and some alone time after a show.

Angus Cereni. Photo by Sebastian Bourgess
Angus Cereni. Photo by Sebastian Bourgess

His company, Doubletap, are next in this year’s NEON Festival of Independent Theatre with a piece written and performed by Cereni, with dramturgy by Susie Dee, where it’s impossible to take you’re eyes away from him.

Resplendence is ostensibly about a man who goes down to the shops for something to eat and sees an accident. But its story, although powerful, is only there to show us the man.

Cereni’s work shows me parts of the male psyche that I don’t understand; those parts that I see and want to run from rather than try to understand.

He’s supported by a design so integral to the experience that the work couldn’t exist if one element were missing. Marg Horwell’s design, Jethro Woodward’s sound and Andy Turner’s lighting put him on a raised catwalk where his walk and turn take us into his thoughts and away from a performer  on a stage.

The language of the text is so inner voice that it’s easy to forget when it’s recorded sound or live voice. He’s never speaking to us, always to himself in his re-telling of his story. And in doing so, his language has found a space that’s neither poetic nor natural, but something that shows us his thoughts in ways that language sometimes misses because we censor and control thoughts when we make them words.

And this language is connected to a physicality that’s so linked to the psyche that it almost doesn’t need the words.

Resplendence is a man who’s impotent anger and fear comes from a loneliness that comes from an impotent anger and fear that craves violence or connection or understanding or just a shared laugh from a world that he’s already too lost to. It’s extraordinary theatre.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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