“Pigman’s Lament” Written and performed by Raoul Craemer Directed by Paulo Castro The Street Theatre Until July 3.
RAOUL Craemer has a unique career as a theatre practitioner in the ACT. Growing up and living in Germany, India and England before coming to Australia, Craemer brings very different perspectives to his work both as a writer and as an actor.
Dramaturgically, the production distils a post-modern dialectic between the performer and the character; between the auto-biographical and the fiction that all writers evoke. Working closely with director Paulo Castro, “Pigman’s Lament” pays no heed to realism while making referential gestures to real persons and real histories. The stage is a mind or perhaps a soul of the writer struggling to draw out the deeper contradictions of one’s relationship to the world as it is and the shaping of that world by one’s predecessors. As such it is refreshing to witness poetic and adventurous use of theatre as an artistic expression touching something deeper than the current trend of plays being so devoid of content and offering only smart, though shallow, presentation.
Craemer’s performance had moments of stunning focus and chilling power. The production, as a whole, still needs to find a tighter rhythm and integration of its links between some of its parts. Tighter focusing of the play’s key plot points would strengthen its engagement with the audiences. However, Craemer’s vocal skills and use of stillness provide enough compulsion to stimulate imagination and that sense of wonder that theatre can engender more than any other medium.