well 'n' happy

Imagination is Everything!  ‘Blind Eye .… circumstances are not what they appear to be’. A superb four-person play performed at Harlequin, the home of theatre in Masterson, New Zealand. The cast includes a set of twins, one a blind sister and her hard working brother in their 60’s, a local policeman and a home visiting nurse.

A metaphor for living in reflected in the story and performance of those on the stage. The use of sight, seeing and non-seeing is brilliantly weaved into the fabric of the plot. For example, if we have strong black and white views about life then the grey areas of living eventually become troublesome. If we insist on a black and white worldview then we want our outer and inner beliefs, opinions and judgements to mirror each other. However, life is rarely black and white, good and bad, right or wrong. To adhere to polar opposites as a bedrock of a well-lived life is never to glimpse soaring peaks of imagination and panoramic possibility. To be able to see unity and oneness as valid and as real as duality offers ways of being in the world as vast and as open as the blue sky.

A paradox revealed in the story is where the outwardly blind sister has an extraordinary capacity to imagine in her mind’s eye exquisite splendours, journeys and travel to exotic lands. It is her brother’s speech with a palette of possibilities, supported with a travel guide of prose to far distant lands, who paints the scenes they travel together. The non-verbal bodily and facial expressions of the blind sister as she inwardly travels on their journeys vividly portray embodied rapture, joy and pure delight for the audience to enjoy.

In contrast, it is the policeman coming from a childhood of domestic violence, who dons the uniform of right and wrong, rules and regulations and lives in the black and white world of criminal versus good citizen. In his private life, he pays the ultimate price for his polarised worldview, quite possibly arising from his childhood experiences, in unsatisfactory relationships, emotional unavailability and a blindness in situations that require sensitivity, vulnerability and compassion.

It is the progeny producing incestuous love that the brother and sister share that is the heart of the play. Illicit love is deep and rich and true between them. In contrast, the love between the policeman and nurse is cold, perfunctory and heartless. The play, as it unravelled and shocked the audience in all its provocations became a foil to look at our own lives, how we live out our fears and beliefs. And, just like the real world ‘circumstances are not what they appear to be’.

‘Blind Eye’ is written by April Philips and directed by Maria Hinton. Superb performances by Rita Ann Penhale-Cashmore, Ashley Rogers, Tim Clark and Gail Edwards.

photo credit: k.bell, Harlequin Theatre, Masterton, New Zealand 2017 using Toolwiz editor

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