The Herald on Scratch

Scratch, Komedia @ Southside

Mary Brennan, The Herald, 13 August 1999

UP until St Valentine’s Day 1998, they’d been just colleagues who worked together, and sort of friends…

Then they had a one-night stand and things changed for good – though whether that’s good as in “for the better” or “over and done with forever” isn’t one of the things we find out. But we find out heaps of other things about them – and it’s really amazing how, in the process, we keep discovering echoes of ourselves. All those defensive-aggressive ploys we use to keep other people from getting too close, knowing us too well, when all the time we crave closeness and familiarity.

Fans and followers of Frantic Assembly may well recognise Spencer Hazel and Cait Davis from various past productions. This funny, edgy, perceptive show sees them launching a new performance initiative called 20:21. It’s a very promising beginning. The writing understands the disguises we adopt, the way we edit circumstances – even people – to suit our own ends, our own image and, above all, it captures the curious diversionary tactics of lust and flirtation. The movement – in, on and around a huge, angled platform – picks up on the unvoiced inner tensions and games while the performances have that note of directness and confiding which really engages you in their relationship, makes you want to know – what good really came of that night?