Funny, moving and thought provoking, Regression explores identity and nostalgia, examining the ways in which people change over time and how the past informs our present whether we want it to or not.
Written by Gabriel Bergmoser the 2015 winner of the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award and directed by internationally renowned playwright Joachim Matschoss, Regression will run for a limited season at Allpress Studio in Collingwood, from August 22- 27. With a talented cast including Tim Constantine, Jason Jeffries, Tom Reed and Samantha Cunnane and innovative use of live music and multimedia, Regression will be an immersive, exciting and original theatrical experience unlike anything else you’ll see this year.
…The question at the heart of this play is what would happen if a deeply nostalgic person was confronted with their past as it really was, a past very different from how they remember it. If we build ourselves on the foundations of who we think we used to be, then how real are our perceptions of who we are now?
Regression is probably my most personal play, and as such figuring out how to develop it was tough. In the end, I trusted the often out-there creative vision of Joachim Matschoss and completely stepped back, knowing that a play this strange needed somebody who could take it to entirely new heights beyond what was written on the page. Knowing nothing about the shape this piece will take has been both exciting and terrifying, but I have faith in Joachim and his extremely talented cast and crew, who have had complete creative freedom over the course of this production. I want to thank them for all their hard work and ideas, and cannot wait to see how it all turned out.
When reading Regression for the first time its simple premise excited me. What if it would be possible to meet a version of yourself? What would you say, ask?
For my interpretation of Gabriel Bergmoser’s play I wanted to ensure that the audience, by simply suspending their disbelief, would think about what they would do when meeting themselves.
Together with the ensemble of actors and the assistant director Jared Smith, I have deconstructed the piece and framed the scenes in a way that in places opposed how the playwright had placed them within the script.
Regression takes precision in terms of the balance and tone of the piece. Too much of either sentimentality or melodrama would topple this play and make the audience members ‘turn off’. I believe the deconstructing of scenes allows the audience to view some of the scenes analytically. Deconstruction also allows the director to clearly imbue their perspective throughout the play. On the page this is a realistic piece but I strongly felt it needed non-naturalistic elements to increase its theatricality, hence we have added stylised movement, projection and the constant non-verbal presence of the characters throughout the piece as well a strong aspects of sound. Comedy and drama go hand in hand. When the audience go with the comedy, they settle and are very comfortable, which allows their guard to ‘come down’. Once their guard has been allowed to drop, they are more open to being moved when the dramatic, sad, disturbing and challenging moments are played out. The work of acclaimed British company ‘Frantic Assembly’ influenced some moments of this production of Regression.