Adam (Valentin Lang), in town for an audition, decides to stay with a friend he has drifted away from. Unbeknownst to him his friend leads an subversive, yet lonely life as “The Sasquatch” (Adam Sollis).
A YouTube sensation with one million followers, the loner sermons on letting go of attachments and the adherence to conventionality whilst dressed in a mask and purple cape like he’s in the chorus of a Greek play.
As Adam and his friend try to reconnect through the memories of their faded friendship, Adam learns of his friend’s secret notoriety. Whilst Adam goes out seeking out a past love and success in his career, his friend withdraws, never leaving the house and in the process losing perspective.
Valentin Lang and Adam Sollis grew up as Freo boys and later settled in Sydney to pursue their acting careers. Lang attended the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Melbourne and Sollis graduated from WAAPA.
Both are accomplished performers and The Trick, Lang’s second play, is an unsettling, dark comic look into the complexities of relationships in a world that is slowly redefining what it means to ultimately be understood and loved.
The interaction between Lang and Sollis is an awkward, itchy push and pull as they try to find common ground to re-establish a friendship that is long gone. Sollis in particular exudes a barely contained anger and hurt, the origin of which becomes more apparent through the play.
Together on a stage with a simple set design, Lang and Sollis revolve around each other, darkly revealing how Adam’s friend became a shut-in and comically as Adam tries his hand at throwing away convention by becoming, at his friend’s encouragement, ‘The Duck’.
There is an intimacy between the audience and the stage that ironically lacks between the two characters and as the play heads to a certain ultimatum, it ebbs to a cheerless conclusion that feels unfinished.
With Lang’s second worthy foray in writing, The Trick, succeeds in leaving the audience pondering the nature and motivation of relationships and the implications of maintaining them for our own sake.