Review by Ellen Becker
In fin de siècle Sydney, a serial killer is on the prowl. Far from Jack the Ripper, “Noah” cuts through the social fabric - plucking his victims in pairs from all walks of life, from prostitutes to policemen. As the country swells with the excitement of Federation, scandal sheet “Truth” is drumming up the fear of Sydneysiders with tawdry tales of the killer on the loose. For predatory newspaper mogul Edrich, milking the scandal means money in the bank – and the fearful public is putty in his hands. When Edrich’s tired mistress Babette stokes the suspicions of carnie Opal, the budding psychic becomes caught in a web of intrigue that obscures the dark truth lingering just beneath the surface.
While the cast rapport is at times dampened by the frequency of smaller scenes, accomplished director Gareth Boylan has elicited strong performances from his cast. Matt Abell-King’s playful opening scene as police officer “bait” for Noah proves King to be an adept comic actor and certainly one to watch. Lucy Miller is simply sublime as the scorned Babette, possessing one of those marvellous theatre face that somehow holds light and shadow perfectly from every angle.
Drew Fairley’s new play is brimming with ambition, an ode to melodrama, whodunits and noir, and packed with a political punch too – one oddly prescient to recent events. Though at times, the weight of the project made the play lag. With such a small cast of actors, weaving political commentary into a whodunit makes certain conclusions inevitable. While Fairley lets the “reveal” slip in half way through, there aren’t enough twists and turns from then on out to keep the tension taut - but nothing some inventive tweaking can’t smooth out. With its haunting singing segues and moody melodrama, Dot Dot Dot makes for a cosy evening at the new, but still intimate Old 505.
Photo credits: thebuzzfromsydney.com