Not your classic ‘bathroom’ drama [by James Wenley]
In The Only Child, actor Stephen Lovatt spends most of his time in the bath.
If this sounds like taking it easy as an actor, it is anything but. From the bathtub Lovatt, naked - physically and emotionally, delivers an intense performance as a father dealing with profound loss, grief and, most harrowing of all, guilt.
It is a standout performance amongst an already impressive cast of Claire Chitham, Josephine Davison and Sam Snedden. Easily deserving of the ‘Best Actor in a bathtub’ award, I’d venture further to call it the performance of the year. He is one of many good reasons to see this production.
The Only Child was adapted by rising Australian auteur Simon Stone from Little Eyolf, one of Henrik Ibsen’s lesser performed works, written in 1894. Stone, 26, has created a name for himself with bold, sometimes controversial modern revisionist works of theatre classics and pushing theatrical boundaries. For his version of The Wildest Duck he placed his actors in a glass box, unable to see their audience. For its New Zealand debut, The Only Child is fittingly directed by Shane Bosher and presented by Silo Theatre who this year especially (excepting perhaps that Vodka show) have refreshed themselves and really delivered potent and exciting theatre in The Brothers Size and I love you Bro.