After a tantalisingly short run at Sydney University’s 2013 Verge Festival, ‘by Travis Parkinson’ and its not-that-awful-looking cast returned to the stage for the first calendar performance of SUDS’ 125th year.
Travis: (In all seriousness) Babycakes.
Gavin: (with the same severity) Schnookums.
by Travis Parkinson, by Ryan Knight. Simple enough, really.
The function of Travis, as narrator allows for a deeper insight into the play’s message. It asks which is more important: the story, or the telling it? Fiction and reality seep into one another, blurring the lines and confusing the mind as Travis attempts to demarcate his own emotional journey.
Putting struggle on stage has been, in itself, a struggle. I wanted to present characters whose emotions lie close to the surface of their skins. Who swipe and hiss at each other with the passionate volatility we reserve only for those we love most.
The rehearsal process was aimed at the actors attempting to negotiate real human emotions in the heightened reality of a soap opera. Travis’ diary is not written for the purpose of realism, but for catharsis – a means of coming to grips with reality. The result is bleak, as Travis pushes his characters to the darkest of the mind’s corners in order to explore his own internal darkness. Characters and audience alike are left clinging to sentiment wherever they can find it.
Finally, my reason for writing and directing such a show is that, much like she who does not even go here, I just have a lot of feelings”
Writer & Director: Ryan Knight