Expose Yourself Tonight

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 June, 1997, 12:00am

Expose Yourself Tonight, Arts Development Drama Club, Fringe Club, June 10 The two words that usually make me hesitate to watch a performance would probably be 'experimental theatre'.

My mind becomes full of fragmented, abstract images of people wandering aimlessly around on stage in very slow exaggerated movements.

This will explain why I found the Arts Development Drama Club's two-play effort Expose Yourself Tonight so refreshing. It is not often that experimental theatre groups manage to show that the abstract need not be totally removed from the mainstream.

Contrary to the connotations that the title might give to some, the two plays expose the hypocrisy and fickleness of human nature.

The first play is the more abstract of the two, although easily understandable. Perhaps many will be able to relate to the tormented 'soul' who walks among the audience, pleading for help to end her suffering. The characters are a reflection of people we meet every day - indeed a reflection of ourselves - and the masks we wear in society.

We may recognise the artist who acts nonchalantly about his broken love affair and his art but still smarts from the wound, or the literati who quotes poems by day but is a cybersex addict within the safe confines of his four walls.

The second play discards every pretension and cuts to the quick with its contemporary gags and humour. The story is about a man and his wife of 10 years who both wish for a second chance, a chance to turn back the clock 10 years and see what 'the other choice' would have brought.

It is a hilarious little piece, brought to life by a lively script.

Although both plays seem unconnected and slightly incongruous in the same sitting, a little deeper thought brings about the realisation that they both bring to life cliches of humanity.

The first is the secret lives that many people live and the second is that we always want what we don't have. It is a message that comes across loud and clear - and is intrinsically artistic as well.