TANK is a play about fish.
To be more specific, it's a play about a tank with three fish in it, and how this tank changes with the addition of a fourth. But these aren’t just any old fish; these are a collection of anthropomorphic, and really quite charming characters that all have their own role in the tank's complex wellbeing.
Being the only piece of original Aussie theatre I’ve had the opportunity to get out to this year I only really had the expectation of something original. Seeing this play turned out to be one of the better decisions I've made this year, as it was, in fact, one the most original plays I've seen in a while.
TANK is, for the most part, a very funny, very charming play – but that is not to say it is without its dark bits. The script's wit, wordplay, and paranoid accusations are balanced by the impending threat of certain death, and the dark secrets from the past bubbling to the surface. There is also something to be said about the value of this play as a means of discussing some rather political issues. While it isn’t the first piece of theatre to lay out some of the more pertinent issues in our modern world through some nifty writing (climate change, overpopulation and human greed are all themes featuring heavily), TANK should definitely be noted that its one of the only plays I’ve seen to have such otherworldly charm but also pointedly human characters in a wholly original way, even before the fish puns come into play.
TANK manages to suck you into the story in the same way that we stare at pretty fish in aquariums, but with more promise of betrayal and conspiracies. Joe (Tristan McInnes) and Dom (Geordie Crawley) are these overblown characters that help solidify the play's quirky fish-tank atmosphere, but they are quite two-dimensional, only representing subservient resentment and neurotic angst, except for when the plot calls for anything different. The truly absorbing stuff comes from Jill (Izzy McDonald) and Finn (Nick Maclaine). While they might first appear to be seemingly unassuming characters, they willingly toy with one another to better the story.
At just about fifty minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome by any means. If anything, the somewhat open ending just left me hungry for more from both Chaos Ensemble and Daley King.