Review | One Punch Wonder knocks it out of the ring in 4x4x4

One Punch Wonder | The Actors’ Hub | til Feb 25th | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

What makes a man? Is it his strength? His compassion? His ability to provide? His fists? In a time where the definition of manhood is being challenged and redefined at every level in our society, One Punch Wonder asks what makes our men use their fists to solve their problems? What turns a man going on a night out, into a killer?

There are no easy answers in this play, directed by Amanda Crewes, as One Punch Wonder instantly steps into a dark and disturbing world where men who have been raised to deny empathy, become killers on our streets. With almost every line of dialogue taken from real-life events that have taken place, such as the tragic one punch killing of Cole Miller and the trial that followed, the impact on the audience is visceral. People are dying, and it is happening now.

All four actors, Christian Tomaszewski, Adam Droppert, Andrew Dunstan and Nicholas Allen, bring impressive physicality and precise choreography to their roles (their punches stopping a hair’s breath away from making physical contact), and great truth as they each navigate multiple characters, while voice-overs chill the bones as we hear how families discovered their loved ones would never be coming home. What works is that the actors are so clearly the right people to tell this story, as this is a play performed by men, about men, for men. Making the point that “Boys who don’t cry shoot bullets.”

The lighting and music, was both effective and subtle, creating an atmosphere of anticipation. At times the dialogue could rush past, overwhelming with the sheer quantity of information and speed with which it was said. Leaving a few points to be lost, but undeniably this was an impressive piece of theatre.

The actors clearly having pushed themselves to their limits as they left the stage drenched in sweat and with the audience unable to move from their seats, (and a few men and women struggling with tears) captivated by the experience they had been witness to. Redefining what it means to be a Man.

4x4x4 is on until 25th February in The Actors’ Hub in East Perth, get tickets from Fringe World.

Quintus Olsthoorn

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