Review: Moving Parts

Colin Friels and Josh McConville Photo: Matt Hart

Moving Parts, which opened on July 25 at the NIDA Parade theatre is an intense two-hander with two excellent actors facing off: Colins Friels and Josh McConville.

This is a play about time: the ravages of time and people marking time, but all in proper proportion and balance.

In what he vows will be his last play, Colin Friels is a watch salesman in an exclusive London shop. He takes great pride in his work and his very existence is encapsulated within the walls that house his expensive timepieces which he protects with a locked door that only he controls.

But Sean, a rather touchy and difficult customer, somehow gains entry, and right at closing time. An intense verbal duel develops and soon the audience begins to suspect that there is more going on here than a simple sales deal.

It gradually becomes obvious that Sean (played with fine seething rage by McConnville) has a specific agenda, one that had its genesis exactly one year ago.

But the seed of the conflict goes back much further and has only come to full maturity at this exact time, on this exact day, at this exact place. As Shakespeare would put it, the “ripeness is all”.

Moving Parts is the first play from writer David Nobay, a Sydney ad agency creative director who conceived the idea five years ago.

Colin Friels, his last hurrah Photo: Matt Hart

Its director, Revolver’s Steve Rogers, says this dark comedy deals with “big universal themes – families, power, self-worth and miscommunication”.

But it is also a eulogy to lost time, lost opportunities and unnecessary suffering. This work is obviously a collaboration between many friends and you can feel the “love” in the way the material is handled.
The character development and the unfolding relationship were handled deftly but the ending was rather abrupt : it seemed that its time was up and the decision was arbitrary. Thematically it made perfect sense – things seldom end when and how we want them to –  and perhaps the feeling that it was prematurely over was exactly what the production was striving for. If that’s the case, they succeeded.
It was great seeing Friels on stage again and McConville matched him powerfully.
Moving Partsis at the NIDA Parade Playhouse theatre, 215 Anzac Parade, Kensington until August 10. Times: Tues-Sat 8pm; Saturday Matinees: 3 & 10 August at 2pm. Post-show Q&A with cast and creative team: 30 & 31 July 8pm; 6 August 8pm; Matinees: 3 & 8 August 2pm. Telephone: 02 9697 7585.




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