Review: Terminus

A word of warning before you go see this: If you can’t focus for more than an hour, don’t go. Also, note there is no interval to gather your thoughts.

Terminus by Mark O’Rowe follows the stories of three strangers going about their lives. From the dead of night to the deadly violent, the stories take wild turns until they somehow relate, similar to the 2006 film Babel (starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett). From the stage, we can only rely on the limited body movements and the rich, rhyming dialogue. The rhyme keeps the stories going, renewing the audience’s (and certainly my) attention. There’s not much else to see, except for the occasional flashing light. But from what we get from the stage, the imagination is left to paint the picture of what is going on.

For me, it took a while to ‘settle in’ into the play. The stories become more intense as the play progresses, and more gruesome as well. As for the supernatural element (B gets caught by a demon), it was fun imagining what it was like. (Actually, kind of hard when it is described frequently as a ‘can of worms’!) The thing to take away from this play is that ‘click’ moment, when you realise three stories combine into one, and how much of a train wreck one of the characters is. All in all, I liked it, although I could have been more awake throughout.

This is a play for the mind, not the eyes. You have been warned.

Terminus plays until Saturday, 9 July at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House.

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