By Angus CeriniDrama Angus Cerini/Doubletap
A man sits alone in a room assailed by the world around him. An interminable unease grips him. He knows neither how to counter these forces pressing in, nor whether anything he might do would have any impact at all anyway.
Angus Cerini’s one-man play Resplendence takes us inside the head of a man whose sanity is fragmented, a man who grapples to understand the world he inhabits. It’s an exploration of masculinity in a contemporary society dominated by men, and how that’s reflected in the base human instincts of sex, drugs and weaponry. He says he was aiming for a cross between the Dylan Thomas poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ and Scorcese’s Taxi Driver.
The result is one man in a room, facing his desires unmet.
In the Australian, Chris Boyd writes: ‘The man Cerini plays exists somewhere between frustration and anger, between sanity and psychosis. He’s reminiscent of the “I want breakfast” character Michael Douglas plays in Falling Down, who shoots up a fast food restaurant when told he’s arrived after the 11.30am menu change-over – if you can imagine a version of that character from the pen of J.M. Coetzee or Samuel Beckett.’
While compact, this bold and visceral piece of writing is anything but slight. Resplendence drags us into the interior landscape of a man riven by anger and anxiety, for whom the outside world is only apprehended in sharp and twisted bursts, before a violent incident in turn hauls him unwillingly into the life of another. It is writing concentrated to such a degree that it has its own gravitational field, and marks a moment of evolution for a unique voice on the Australian stage. Audiences are often struck by the impact of Angus Cerini’s powerful stage presence, yet even on the page his writing carries both great energy and surprising beauty. This is writing of the first order.
Download an extract of Resplendence here.
The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist