Let's Talk About You

Elizabeth Dillon
20th Nov 2016

The bell rings, the lively chatter lowers to hushed whispers and we are staring into the darkness. The stage is empty, aside from a couple of cream coloured square ottomans and two identically matching mobile phones in cases. Blink, and you miss their entrance (which I did). It is like they magically appeared in their matching white tops, black trousers and very sensible shoes.

Dr Ernestine Brilliant, played by Elaine Hudson, is waiting for a very important call. She is an intelligent, successful, beautiful and hilariously blunt character, who is always wearing a mask. A cosmetically pleasing one, but a mask all the same. She is constantly trying to prove herself in her marriage, in her workplace, even with her son, and always coming off second best. Conservative and "straight," the real doctor and her feelings are hidden beneath civilities, proprieties and the busyness of life.

After a few lines and mimicked movements, you start to wonder what is actually going on, and then the imaginary lightbulb within my head starts to slowly brighten…

Anne Tenney has a familiar face, which I remember from my younger years watching A Country Practice and Water Rats from the comfort of our family living room. She is wonderful as the doctor's conscience. The constant banter between her and the doctor is lively and comical. The internal conversation, and wrestling, at times, is a poignant reminder of how strong that muscle at the end of your spine actually is. Anne is the voice of reason between that which is in the doctor’s head and what she really feels in her heart.

Mid-conversation, Hope floats in on a breeze… Played by Taylor Owynns, she woos us as the old school friend, with her immaculate hair, her love for life and creative spirit. With her bright green top and red rimmed glasses, she is definitely a shining beacon of colour for the doctor in her dreary, male-dominated world.

As in life, time passes, promotions come and go, we see the doctor softens and she learns to feel and love again. And so, the conversation continues…

Constantly trying to decide between what we know and have learnt since we were children and the unexpected yet exciting unknown. Should we stay in the comfort of our civil and busy lives, putting up a good image for people on the outside, or should we “throw caution to the hurricane”? Do we hope? Can we take that step which we may have been thinking about for a while?

I personally know this internal conversation all too well. You may find the doctor’s journey resonating with you too.

True to form, Pop Up Theatre’s Rivka Hartman, in association with the Depot Theatre, has produced another quality piece of independent theatre and it is definitely worth a visit.

Isn't it time? - Let's Talk About You.

Let's Talk About You is on at Marrickville's Depot Theatre until Saturday November 26th. Production photos by Vicki Skarratt.