Independent Theatre Association (Warren Herbu), 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: Warren Herbu (

Date: 14-08-01 23:39

Emerging From the Collective

Presented by Collective Unconscious

Aug 8-11, 15-18 @ 8pm, Blue Room.

For some reason my expectations for this production were low. Like David I anticipated something ‘inaccessible’. I was unfamiliar with the group and had not heard anything about the production until a friend of mine suggested going to see it. Anyway, my preconceptions were very unfair as I was treated to a very enjoyable night at the Blue Room.

I don’t want to spoil the show but I would like to just make a few comments about the 4 short pieces that made up the production.

Even though the first piece was my least favourite, it held my attention and was rather touching in parts. I have a problem sometimes when a character stands on stage and spends 20 - 30 minutes delivering a monologue straight to the audience with little movement; I always start thinking how it could be differently staged to make it more visually interesting. However, having said that, for the most part in this case the technique worked, and it was testimony to the actor’s delivery (sorry, don’t know names) that it was engaging as it was. The performance was nicely pitched; you never knew where the character was going to go with his tale and why he was telling you his story in the first place

Onto the second piece - I loved how it moved so unexpectedly; i won’t ruin it by telling you where it goes but i loved how it was all played as totally plausible-the turn of events may be unusual but you never for a moment believe that it isn’t possible within the world of the play because of its commitment to the sense of the ‘bizarre.’

The third piece I really liked; a short ode to the difficulties of sustaining a meaningful relationship, in this case a marriage. My friend didn’t like the monologues that broke the action. I however did, it was a glimpse into the underlying subconscious thoughts of the characters, which to me was the point of this piece; an expression of the couple’s inability to communicate successfully. There were moments however where I felt that the characters could stay a little longer with certain moments. There are instances in this piece that I think could perhaps be extended to more fully explore the dynamics of their relationship.

The final piece was well written and exquisitely performed. All I will say is that I haven’t laughed like that in the theatre for a while.

Overall, well worth a look see. Also, I have just noticed that most of the plays for the August to October Blue Room season are priced at $18 full and $12 concession. This is not necessarily a complaint but more of an observation - is it just my imagination or are the prices of locally produced plays on the rise? Anyway, despite the price tag attached to "Emerging from the Collective" go see it. It deserves better than the 14 or so people that were there last Friday night.


Warren Herbu.