Ruth starred alongside a talented cast in the show The Things I Could Never Tell Steven, performed at the New Theatre as a part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. The show received rave reviews, including this from Matthew McDonald from 'The Buzz in Sydney'.
"Why are we so quick to reserve our closest emotions and opinions from the people we most desperately need to share them with?
This is the question that forms the premise of Jye Bryant’s musical, The Things I Could Never Tell Steven. Originally debuting in 2015 at the King Street Theatre, the acclaimed Australian musical writer has now joined forces with the dynamic Alex Robson and Antonio Fernandez, both alumni of New Theatre’s 2016 queer musical, Bathhouse, to breathe new life into the production.
Delicately balancing themes of love, lust, obsession and disappointment, Bryant has crafted an emotional roller coaster that powers between comedy and intense drama within the 19 songs that encompass the show’s 70-minute runtime. His music is mature in its emotional honesty without falling into the trap of being unnecessarily glib and gives each of the four cast members a huge amount of character to sink their teeth into.
The story of the play follows the effects that the unseen titular character has on the main people within his life. It is how these people reflect on what they wish they had the courage to say to him that creates the bulk of the narrative. Steven’s mother (Strutt) laments that she is no longer the leading lady of his life while his father (Majsay) battles with his own conservative upbringing so that he might finally be able to speak with emotional honesty. Steven’s wife (Moran) tries to maintain their married life while his ex-boyfriend (Glover) enjoys their secret sexual escapades.
In the first half, the fragility of Moran’s character is admirably juxtaposed by the confidence of Glover and Strutt. As the story progresses, it is interesting to watch the transition of fragility from Moran to Glover, particularly in their outstandingly performed final numbers, ‘I’ll Forever Keep a Part of You and I’ll Say Goodbye’ respectively.
It is Strutt who ultimately claims the throne of undeniable crowd favourite. From the moment she enters the stage in her matching leopard-print dress and heel ensemble, she steals every scene with her blend of naïve, over-bearing mother-isms, drunken antics and fourth-wall destruction. She is at once both a hilarious stereotype and uncomfortably familiar."
Cast: Matilda Moran, Ruth Strutt, Adam Majsay and Lucas Glover.
Creative Team: Jye Bryant (Creator), Alex Kendall Robson (Director, Lighting and Sound Design) and Antonio Fernandez (Musical Director).
The Things I Could Never Tell Steven played at the New Theatre in Newtown as a part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. You can follow the works on Jye Bryant through his website http://www.jyebryant.com/.
Review text taken from the original post 22 September 2017.