‘Six Minutes 6 Ways’ is a wonderful quality part of Fringe 2020. This superbly written 40-minute World Premiere was written by Sally Newman and presented by Lyrical Infusion at the Irish Club of Western Australia, 61 Townshend Road, Subiaco on Friday 24th January at 6.30 pm and again on Saturday 25th January at 6.30 with a second performance 8.45 pm.
This innermost projection and stress observed writing contains various threads that hint as the young girl’s mood slowly changes. Threads such as the brightness of the light, the wisp of air flowing through the room, her breathing and the various aspects of love. The story is told in six scenes depicting six-minute snippets of their daily life. They flowed together well and were cleverly linked. ‘There are countless moments in life. Some never seen by others. Some too sad to remember. Some too painful to forget.’
Because of the adult dramatic themes (non-sexy), the suitability is still probably for 18+.
The scene: the sitting room in a typical young couple’s flat.
The set: The walls are matte black and unadorned. A patio window is covered by white light-weight chiffon curtains. In front and to the side of the stage was an electric organ (piano) and a microphone.
The simple but effective lighting and sound design was by Claire Mosel-Crossley. It covered the stage and the area of the auditorium 3 metres in front of the stage used by the dancer.
A young man (Robert Jackson) is taking off his shoes, when, like an angel arriving on a beam of white light his girlfriend (Kamara Churchill) arrives home. Their love is immediately apparent.
They become cocooned in a long white silk. A chanteuse (musician and singer Veruschka Pestano) sings in French – in style reminiscent of ‘Je t’aime’ – of an all-embracing soft breath ‘souffle’ of air in a bright white light. The girl’s inner spirit (WAAPA dancer Eibhlis Newman) emerges from the cocoon and demonstrates with an acrobatic balletic performance the passion that is taking place and the intense love. The girl becomes pregnant.
We jump forward a year to the next autumn when the couple’s life changes, leading to a funeral with the grandmother (Diana Oliver) and her brother (Leigh Hunter) mourning their loss.
Sally Newman is a multi-award winning, gifted writer, actor and producer the creative director, and in the past was nominated for ‘Best Community Event at FRINGE WORLD’. But and it is a big ‘but’, in a mere forty minutes can she create an atmosphere of love, tension, drama and make the audience feel a genuine connection with the characters? Surprisingly the cast and director succeeded admirably, I did care and was moved. There were some very poignant performances especially from the girl and her mother. Not wishing to spoil the play by telling too much, the others found their place and gave strength to the atmosphere.
This play worked because the director has selected the cast, musician and dancer most carefully, then the team melded together perfectly. Well done, tricky but it worked.