Everyone has a right to happiness, don't they? So how far would you go to fulfill your desires?
Lara Thomas
Published on June 28, 2013


Everyone has a right to happiness, don't they? So how far would you go to fulfill your desires? In two one act satires, Intimacies gets up close and personal with the oddities of human behaviour in our constant search for love and happiness.

Award-winning New Zealand writer Stephen Sinclair (The Bach, The Bellbird, Ladies' Night) poses two unusual scenarios set in the not-so-distant future. Sinclair presents us with Intimacies, a humourous but disturbing premonition of where society may be headed.

Sweet Thing opens with Sally (Rima Te Wiata) having a heart to heart with her mum (Lynn Waldegrave), but their close relationship is not what it seems. Sally has issues, who doesn't? But she's determined to face the demons of her past. Thankfully, advanced technology and new laws have made it easier than ever before. Now Sally can work through all her problems with the help of her 'mother', who is actually a clone. When brother Philip (Ross Brannigan) explodes on the scene, outraged by what she's done, well Sally fixes that problem too.

There's never a dull moment as Sally dishes out witty one liners and sculls back wine while her fantasy deteriorates into a personal nightmare. It's a great premise, the idea of being able to force family members to listen and get everything off your chest. The questionSweet Thing poses is; would it really help?

I'd Rather Be The Pope delves into the world of hard-core gamer, Ron. Here Sinclair investigates the perils of technology and the blurring of lines between virtual reality and the 'real' world. Rejected by society, Ron exhibits violently inappropriate behaviour in the gaming world he inhabits for the majority of his waking life.

Ron's relationship with his counsellor plays out in unexpected ways and the twist at the end rounds things off neatly, but definitely not nicely. The minimal set and meticulous lighting reflected the dark nature of I'd Rather Be The Pope, giving it a pervasive sense of unease. The strong performance by Jordan Selwyn, as Ron, also added power to the punch.

An experienced cast draw out the potential of Intimacies, providing a comical and thought-provoking evening of entertainment. The two thematically linked works play off each other and definitely have more impact as a pair than standing alone. Intimacies is a valuable reminder that even if we have the ability to create the life we've always wanted, everything comes at a price.


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