Dolores- sam. Productions
Issues of domestic violence are difficult to stage. The fact that DOLORES is set in an Annandale warehouse conversion is this show's first pull, and sets the tone of the audience experience from the get-go. Before the play even begins, we are convincingly placed into the modest home of one of the characters. So, straight away, we're intimately engaged, and designer Tyler Ray Hawkins has successfully done his job.
DOLORES is a deliciously layered play about two sisters and their encounters with domestic violence. In forty-five gripping minutes it provides insight into prejudices held against abuse victims, the 'grey areas' of domestic violence, domesticity, sexual freedom and both the charms and obligations attached to familial relationships. The dialogue explores all of these themes but in no way does it forget to entertain.
This production is headed by two real-life sisters: Millie Samuels and Edwina Samuels. They are simultaneously the brains behind 'sam. Productions', and the two players in DOLORES. Each of them serve the text with utmost conviction.
Edwina Samuels gives a bold performance. As we're in her house, it's almost like we're in her head too- at least in the initial parts of the play- no doubt due to her reliability and, at delicately planned moments, comic delivery.
Millie Samuels offers a fabulous all-stakes performance. At times stealing my attention, she is desperate and filled with anticipation. It's intoxicating to watch.
The two women and their butting desires are contained just-right by director Julia Patey. Patey clearly has an eye for creating realism inserted with the best amount of dramatic tension. By this I mean, emotional shifts are successfully delivered in the moments we want and need them most, and the overall pace of the piece is gripping. I imagine that's no small feat for a two-hander like this one.
What's that? I got to the end of the review without having said a single bad thing? Whoops. You best buy your own ticket (hurry- it's a short season), and let me know if there's anything I missed...
For tickets click here.