TANK (4 stars)

Have you ever felt that you lived in a fishbowl? Your every action observed and your every move tracked? Do you think that politicians and well-known figures are also put on display by the media and our twitter-obsessed world? How do you survive in this world…and how far will you go to ensure your safety?

Three fish swim peacefully in an aquarium, playing card games (Go Fish!) and cleaning the tank. There is a little tension provided by one hard-working bottom-feeder and one salty (a saltwater fish in a freshwater tank) but really life is pretty good. When a fourth fish creeps into the tank, he initially sits back, attempts to fit into the pecking order (even tries to play the game) but it doesn’t take long for the status quo to change.

There is something strange happening to the tank. It seems that they have been abandoned – the temperature rises, food is only distributed intermittently, and despite their best efforts, the tank is getting dirtier. It seems these changes are all it takes as each fish’s true colours come out. They begin to turn on each other as their vulnerabilities are exposed.

TANK is cleverly rendered. The characters exhibit mildly fish-like qualities, like not being able to breathe without saltwater, but it is largely through language and the set that indicate the environment. It taps into our conscious on every level – our relationship with the environment (including climate change and denial,) power-plays and politics, familial relations and even just the way we all must get along (or not.)

The four person cast, Nick Maclaine, Izzy  McDonald, Geordie Crawley, and Tristan McInnes form a solid ensemble with an obvious camaraderie. Some of the actors are a little one-note, however this works well for the play and their characters are short-lived, making it more endurable.  TANK is a close look at society and how we can either bury our heads in the sand or take a leap of faith.

When: 11th – 29th October 2016 (8:30pm)

Where: The Blue Room Theatre, Perth

Tickets: $18 – $28

Info: Matinee 6pm 29th October; Q&A after show Wednesday 19th October

Link: http://blueroom.org.au/events/tank/