September 8, 2013


Stagecraft continues to surprise me with the quality of their productions. They are not a group to rest on their laurels. Their script choices are excellent - each challenging in a new way. The God Boy was intense, Pride and Prejudice was funny (not as easy to achieve as you would think) and complex. Their new production, Proof manages to be funny, romantic and have a bit of a mystery thrown in there too.

Proof is a captivating play. I discovered that there is also a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Catherine. I watched part of the preview and it didn't compare to what I saw at Gryphon theatre. Hollywood has a tendency to over dramatise which makes theatre seem so much more real even though in theory it should seem more artificial. Having said that, I have the DVD and intend to watch it this week.

This play explores the thin line between genius and insanity. (I've always wondered whether the pressure of being a genius leads to insanity.) It brought to mind the story of John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, I’m sure people could draw many comparisons. But this story touched me more than that movie, it was human (although, as I’ve already said, plays and movies are far apart). It focused on the daughter of the genius and how she may have inherited some of his gifts. Two major plot twists kept you guessing; one very early on and the other when the play seems to be drifting along, this second twist gives the plot an entirely new direction.

The actors all spike in American accents which came across as natural. Each actor was perfectly chosen for their role and had great chemistry with the other actors. I really felt the depression, the confusion and the hope that Catherine, portrayed excellently by Gabrielle Wright, experienced. Like her I also wanted to hit her sister. The performers made great use of a limited set but I noted several references in the script that seemed to indicate that some scenes were meant to be indoors. I loved the geeky t-shirts worn by the math nerd.

I identified with Catherine; I wanted Gabrielle’s hair which seemed to speak for the character itself but also her part made me feel guilty, wondering what I could have achieved with my potential had I not suffered from a mental illness. Sometimes being smart has its limitations.

This is a great play for anyone with a pushy sister, a close relationship with their father, and any geniuses or nerds out there. If you like Big Bang Theory you may find something in this play for you.

Performances: 5 -7 September 8 pm, 10 -11 6.30 pm, 12 - 14 8 pm
Tickets: $22

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