Independent Theatre Association (David Ryding), August 2001

The following is the text from a review posted on the Independent Theatre Association website. To see the original posting, visit the ITA website and check out the Reviews section.

Author: David Ryding (

Date: 12-08-01 13:13

I tend to shy away from reviewing shows for a variety of reasons but i thought it appropriate to comment about the Collective Unconscious show at the Blue Room theatre, Emerging from the Collective.

Collective Unconscious have a little bit of history with their show, I Might Be Edgar Allan Poe, which has had quite a life, both with them and in other productions. With that show in mind and the title and image of this show I was expecting a more dark and inaccessible night than I encountered.

I was wrong.

Emerging... is four short plays written, performed, produced and directed by the various members of the collective. And I must say it's great to see a collective like this in action. Many people in town muse about forming collective but they rarely try it or when they do it implodes under egos. i didn't get that sense from this group.

The plays range through a variety of styles, forms and subject matter, though to me they all seemed fairly love based. Inaccessible? Dark? not in the slightest. In fact it was a well balanced and entertaining evening.

I don't want to describe the four plays except to say you'll laugh and you'll lapse in to a few moments of uncomfortable silence as a couple of the plays will make you reflect on memories and events in your own life.

In brief, the first is a beautiful monologue about a grandchild remembering his grand father, the second a over the top comedy of a couple meeting at a wedding, the third play a particularly poignant view of a couple who have reached standstill and the fourth is a hoot! I'll let you discover that one for yourself

Performance wise it is fairly solid with the acting in the fourth being ideal for that play. The main complaint of the night can be the direction, not that it is lacking but at times the moments and depths of the scripts haven't been fully realised. But i believe these performances will evolve as they are very proactive in refining this production.

Interestingly many of the scripts are first time efforts!

In short an enjoyable night at a cheap price and with short plays (no more than 30 minutes each) none of the plays out stay their welcome. And the Collective themselves are very welcoming of comments and when you go stay round and have a chat.

If you want more information I believe they have a website linked to this page but i can tell you performances continue for another week and you can book on 9227 7005.

And to continue my policy of revealing any bias, don't know any of them except for chatting after last nights show.


Dave Ryding