There’s no doubt Incognito is a fascinating and adventurous piece of theatre. What else? Okay, intriguing and mysterious. And the probability is that some audiences will totally get it, the possibility is also some (members of this audience or that) will leave scratching their noggins, trying to stimulate the grey matter inside the skull…for the brain is a locus for the plot in this four-hander.
Incogni Incogn Inco Incognito is mysterious in several ways as it stretches through time and the actors are required to play with character. Technically, for ‘the actor’, the play is demanding, with each player required to play at least four characters, and as many as six, without benefit of costume change, or off-stage moments to re frame. Four actors and 21 characters. So now is the moment to play the critic and to assert that the four actors were fabulous, none did falter a line and in the show I saw, the second-only public performance, well the sold-out audience couldn’t stop the applause. The actors, Ben Prendergast, Kate Cole, Paul Ashcroft (all seasoned Red Stitch players) and guest Red Stitcher Jing-Xuan Chan, well deserved it. And throw in Directors Ella Caldwell and Brett Cousins & the rest of the crew. Incognito stimulating, I enjoyed it. The play was presented in minimalist-ish fashion, with a dodgy piano and a jar with brain bits pretty much the only stage props…well as stage objects, include the constant presence of the whole cast. You’ll understand if you go.
What’s it all about, Albert? Well, it’s sort of about Albert E’s brain, about the Einsteinian space-time continuum, about brain trauma, about same sex sorties and space-time ‘wormholes’ but essentially about a lot of ‘who am I?’ Maybe ‘who was I?’ and ‘Who will I become?’
Colin Talbot’s full dissertation on this play can be read here in Toorak Times