PLAY’S IS­SUES HAVE A BITE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

VIC­TO­RIA Park tal­ent will be on show at Playlovers Theatre’s next pro­duc­tion, a Pulitzer Prize-nom­i­nated play that fea­tured Robin Wil­liams on Broad­way.

Ben­gal Tiger at the Bagh­dad Zoo is a comic drama about the lives of two US marines and an Iraqi trans­la­tor who en­counter a quick-wit­ted tiger on the streets of war-torn Bagh­dad.

East Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent Katie Toner will play the tiger with Carlisle res­i­dent Jaxon Ge­orge and Cameron Leese, of Vic­to­ria Park, as the two US marines.

Writ­ten by Ra­jiv Joseph and di­rected by An­dre Vic­tor, the play’s tiger wit­nesses the puz­zling ab­sur­di­ties of war and at­tempts to find mean­ing, for­give­ness and re­demp­tion among the city’s ru­ins.

Toner said the char­ac­ter was quite cyn­i­cal but also philo­soph­i­cal.

“The role is com­plex and sar­cas­tic but melan­choly,” she said.

“There is a great mix of com­edy, sad­ness and frus­tra­tion which makes it a fun char­ac­ter to play and a role I can re­ally sink my teeth into.

“Be­cause the char­ac­ter has so many sub­tle el­e­ments and ways of phras­ing things to make ref­er­ence to more than one event at a time, it will be dif­fi­cult to be con­sis­tent in know­ing the tiger’s in­ten­tions at all times.

“I also think the changes in mood will be chal­leng­ing be­cause I want to make the comedic, frus­trated, sad and philo­soph­i­cal sides all as strong as each other, as well as be­ing clear as pos­si­ble in my in­ten­tions.”

Direc­tor An­dre Vic­tor de­scribed it as a play about life and death, in and around war.

“It’s com­edy-based but writ­ten as a dra­matic play. When you get the level of per­for­mance right, the com­edy shines through with­out mak­ing fun of the show it­self,” he said. “Af­ter look­ing at the script, I fell in love with the lan­guage of the play and how play­wright Ra­jiv Joseph uses regular sen­tences in cre­ative ways.”

Katie Toner plays a quick-wit­ted tiger in Ben­galTig­er­attheBagh­dadZoo with Jaxon Ge­orge and Cameron Leese as two US marines.

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