Jess Zanoni’s Tunnel Vision presented a complex realisation of the intricacies of interpersonal crisis, introspection, and living for and around others. Drawing an audience into the tightknit world of its five equally idiosyncratic characters, Tunnel Vision left you feeling like you’d been leafing through the pages of a detailed and revealing journal.
The production’s primary strength was its prolonged and in-depth character development. Each character was afforded the time and attention needed to realise an engaging and unique perspective on the events at hand. This equality of focus constructed a real sense of interpersonal interaction between the cast as well as lending weight to conflict, discussion, and character reactions. This meant the production felt fleshed out and believable despite its short run time.
The multi-perspectival approach also ensured that all cast members were able to truly showcase their expressive capabilities. This was important given the array of talent present for this production. Acting on the whole was remarkable, with some key dialogue moments feeling impressively intimate and personal. Of particular note were Sebastian Antoine as Reed and Lucinda Ventimiglia as Anya, both delivering striking and authentic performances with strong emotional expression. Ventimiglia’s Anya provided some of the production’s most decisive displays of emotion and interpersonal conflict.
Zanoni’s writing offered up a rich tapestry of personal development for each character, often striking a note that felt satisfyingly universal. Characters engaged with each other in a fashion that was uniquely frustrating and relatable, forcing sympathies and apathies to spring up at appropriate moments. The inclusion of Mara (Louise Kaye) and Emil’s (Linus Tolliday) humorous elements helped to dilute ongoing serious and emotional interaction and felt like a needed and well-handled addition to the play’s dialogue and structure. One of the only drawbacks for the production was its diminutive exposition. The first scenes of the play had the capacity to confuse, as the characters were simply thrust into the world with little to no primary development. Whilst confusing and inevitable given the short run time, these factors were largely addressed by the continuous constructive attention provided to each character. However, it was possible to feel as if these characters had some unknown previous experience that somehow could have been illuminated more.
Tunnel Vision presented a cast of diverse and unique characters each locked into their own perspective. Being at once freely accessible to the audience in a broad and unrestricted set of personal interactions, and closed in its construction of characters that felt too real to be fully un-packable, Tunnel Vision drew you into the world of others, and in the process tried to tell you something about yourself.
Tunnel Vision ran from the 23rd – 24th of August in the Union Theatre, as part of Mudfest 2017.