There has been many a play narrowing women down to just their sexuality. They’ve been portrayed as victims, virginal characters, vixens, a whole lot a v’s and the all resounding slut.
Creditors, it seems, is just another to add to this list.
First written by August Strindberg in 1888, the State Theatre Company debuted a modern adaptation of Creditors last night. Adapted by Duncan Graham and directed by David Mealor, it’s the first time the Swedish play has been produced by a major theatre company in Australia. Creditors is a black comedy that delves into misogyny and the takedown of love and marriage.
It does this by focusing around three characters: Tekla (Caroline Craig) and Adolph (Matt Crook), wife and husband both in the Arts scene, and Gustav (Peter Kowitz), the older man who knows more about Adolph than he knows himself. The three are forces to be reckoned with; each powerful in their delivery and effortlessly working off each other throughout the two hours. I have no faults with the Aussie talent this play centres around, but I do have faults with the characters they portray.
You can’t emphasize with anyone in this play. Each of the three characters spins their own tales of unattainable arguments, never showing a moment where you can relate or side with anyone. No one is the hero and no one is the villain. They are all deeply flawed humans who are out to destroy each other -- or at least out to destroy the one woman who is at the centre of it all.
Everything Creditors tries to speak against seems to be clung to. It falls into confusion stirred by loud shouting and somewhat violent movements, clinging hopelessly to archaic forms of marriage and household roles but laughing in the face of being called a slut. It tries to break down the female form of a victim but will leave you confused and, honestly, unsatisfied.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Creditors is on at the Space Theatre from the 20th of July to the 5th of August.