We’re on the train to nowhere “Two strangers wake up on a mysterious train one morning. They have no idea how they got there, no sense of their ultimate destination, and can only tell one thing for sure – day is turning to night, and the train is not stopping.”
The description sounds like a metaphor for life, and Two on the Night Train is just that. A play about nothing, but yet also so much at the same time.
Two-person cast Katherine Pearson and Frazer Lee lead a never-ending train journey, time and time again switching and changing situations and possibilities as each part of the story runs parallel with the other. The ‘who’ and the ‘where’ remaining steadfastly consistent, yet the ‘why’ never seeming to become clear to either. They are tortured in by the notion that simply ‘existing,’ being neither good nor bad, travelling closer to, other further away from one’s final destination, being uncertain, vague and not knowing what you want, who you are or what your purpose is, is in fact their reality – and at first, seems outside of their control. Their nothingness seems as if controlled by a higher power that they are never able to see, or therefore prove its existence implying by the end of play that they are in fact in control of their lives and how they wish to progress, if they could just exit the train going nowhere.
Simplified props begin to appear as the journey continues, metaphors for life. A book. A bag. Empty. Then full. Then only containing what one needs at the time including light in the darkness or hope in uncertain times.
Throughout the productions’ existential approach, other themes are interwoven like depression and the validity of humanity’s approach to using age as markers and milestones for where someone should be at a certain point in their lives. The question of is it ok if they are not, or that they are taking a different journey and have different ways and means to life is a clear theme.
Director Martin Quinn, described as inspired by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. There are clear similarities to his style of storytelling such as the use of a highly simplified setting to get a message across, and repetition in how each parallel-running part of the narrative is the same, but different over and over.
A complex intellectual and heavy piece which requires reflection.
Two on the Night Train is part of the Gasworks Premiere program supporting independent Melbourne-based creatives and is produced by Glassbreaker Productions.
Where: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St., Albert Park Melbourne
When: 8pm until 22 June (no Sun / Mon / Tues performances)
More information / tickets: Check out their website