Theatre reviews: Poena 5X1

Playwright Abbie Spallen gives us eugenics 21st-century style, as a scientific researcher describes a revolutionary drug.

Star rating: **

Venue: Underbelly Med Quad (Venue 302)

It’s capable of inflicting excruciating pain but, thanks to an “amnesiac,” leaves the prisoner/patient none the wiser. Wouldn’t it be better, suggest the world’s law makers, if she dropped the amnesiac?

It’s a creepily promising start, but the play leaves us puzzled. It’s partly that when the researcher tinkers with the formula it doesn’t seem any worse than the original drug and partly that Robert Shaw’s production blurs the line between lecture and confession.

Actor Cathy Conneff looks us straight in the eye, but it’s never certain who she thinks she’s talking to.

Until 29 August. Tomorrow 3:20pm.


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