Review: Breathing Corpses – Eye Contact Theatre Co at Kings Cross Theatre (NSW)

Written by Laura Wade, Directed by Jess Davis, Production Design by Kate Beere

Review by Christian Gillett

Editor’s Note from Justin:
The production on this evening featured actors that had received the script that morning, with their first time performing the scenes for any kind of audience. They’d had less than 30mins in the theatre with the Director of Breathing Corpses. The two previous shows including the show’s opening night had different actors all together in those roles (also on book at short notice). You will see some lack of detail in this review due to these hurdles and as a result the star rating has been removed out of fairness for the company.

In London, three people are connected by a most disturbing discovery. Amy, a hotel cleaner discovers her second dead body while on the job. Jim is spiralling into post-traumatic depression after discovering a dismembered body in one of the storage units he hires out. Kate constantly lashes out violently at her boyfriend and his dog after stumbling across a body on a morning walk. So begins Breathing Corpses by Laura Wade, a story about the many different emotions that we experience when confronted with death.

Emma Wright

The show opens with a dead man in a hotel room. Amy, played by Emma Wright, delivers an opening monologue – just her with that dead man.  Jim was played by Nicholas Papademetriou, his wife Elaine by Linda Nicholls-Gidley, and their employee Ray by Joshua Shediak (Nicholas and Linda read from scripts due to the usual actors being in isolation). There were flashes of truth with aspects of humour on their faces once they realised the magnitude of finding the body.

We were then introduced to Kate played by Nisrine Amin and her boyfriend Ben played by Zelman Cressey-Garldwin who are in constant conflict with one another. Kate gave a most theatrical and somewhat aggressive performance with sustained tension between boyfriend Ben. This was a much-needed hit of energy that was perfectly placed within the middle of the production. The two gave an energetic performance that realistically demonstrated the trauma and coping mechanisms we might experience when faced with death.

Zelman Cressey-Garldwin and Nisrine Amin

In the closing scenes we met Charlie played by Xavier Coy. A new guest in the hotel who seems nice enough, but with hidden depths. He flirted with the rather innocent hotel cleaner Amy, but this became something more sinister as the story unfolded.

This production gives insight into how people cope with death and strangers connected through a series of disturbing events. A pleasing production that would reach its full potential with the full cast and minor script tweaks.

Breathing Corpses plays at the Kings Cross Theatre until 23 April. It is part of our April cheap thrills.

Find tickets $35 for concession, $45 for adults, and $20 on Thursday for under 30s (code: KXT20for20s) here.

Cast
Nisrine Amine (she/her) Kate
Xavier Coy (he/him) Charlie
Zelman Cressey-Gladwin (he/him) Ben
Mark Langham (he/him) Jim
Monica Sayers (she/her) Elaine
Joshua Shediak (he/him) Ray
Emma Wright (she/her) Amy


Creative Team
Kate Beere (she/her) Production Designer
Michela Carattini (any) Intimacy Coordinator
Sam Cheng (she/her) Sound Designer
Caity Cowan (she/her) Stage Manager
Jess Davis (she/her) Director
Becky Matthews (she/her) Photographer
Aron Murray (he/him) Set Builder
Linda Nicholls-Gidley (she/her) Dialect Coach
Sophie Parker (she/her) Lighting Designer
Adeeb Razzouk (he/him) Intimacy Coordinator
Scott Witt (he/him) Fight Choreographer

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