A Stretch of the Imagination

Review: Monk O´Neill's Aussie tale

Written by Wendy Wrangham
for Expats.cz

A Stretch of the Imagination

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Monk O´Neill is the cover boy of this year´s Fringe, and his musings, meditations and memories from a life lived to the full comprise a wonderful hour of consummate acting. Set in outback Australia, we discover the worldly history to this apparently backward old boy. Paris and Proust join Plato, Homer, missed opportunities and raucous good times in this exceptional exploration of old age and death.

Time flies for Monk as he remembers in the disjointed manner of an age-muddled mind his highs and lows, his loves and fights as the present interrupts the past – or vice versa. The loneliness is palpable at his birthday accompanied only by ghosts and he now plants and gardens to have the living in his life and to make up for his single regret. Failing bodily functions are viewed with curiosity and, almost in the same breath, fury. Similarly, guests are welcomed as a break from monotony and shunned for the same reason. Finally, we see old age as the greatest of levellers… no man or woman, no matter how well travelled, rich or intelligent can escape its indignities, but Monk´s lust for life (and women and booze and food and books) make this a positive look at the only definite in life.

I was reminded throughout of Thomas Hardy´s wonderfully evocative poem I Look into my Glass. Another stunning one man show, although Peter Hosking has an impressive array of talent behind him, including composer Joe Dolce…

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Nightly at 7.45pm at Nosticovo Divadlo


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