Directed by Richard Hilliar

Old 505 Theatre

10 – 18 March 2020 (programmed 10-22 March; shortened season due to COVID)

Are you paying attention?

Ten people. Ten stories, shattered, scattered and flowing through and over each other. Follow the threads through hilarity and despair to find the connection. Find hope.
A twisting exploration of life and how we get through it.

Distorted is a bold new Australian play written by Xavier Coy, winner of the 2018 NIDA Emerging Artist Award Best Writer at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Presented as part of Old 505 Theatre’s 2020 Mainstage Season.

Michael Arvithis, Xavier Coy, Emma Louise, Poppy Lynch, Lex Marinos, Tristan McKinnon, Kate Rutherford, Jack Walton, David Woodland, Sheree Zellner

Written by Xavier Coy
Directed by Richard Hilliar
Produced by Becky Matthews, Fixed Foot Productions
Production Designer: Hamish Elliot
Lighting Designer: Jasmin Borsovszky
Sound Designer: Martin Gallagher
Stage Manager: Alexandra Plenge Chan
Photography: Becky Matthews




Sydney Arts Guide –

“This is a slick, sophisticated piece of rapid-fire theatre. It demonstrates the effect that keen observation, evolution through sincere workshopping and perfectly cast talent has on the development of a new play. Xavier Coy’s play has ten characters share their fractured stories and interact in a network of assorted pain across no less than 73 focussed snapshots.”

“Timing and clarity is key in such delivery and is impressive in the performances on offer. As in our modern life at times, there is no time to warm up, sink into exposition or explanation. Here we feel alongside the characters.”

“The ensemble cast beautifully and believably show the chemistry between family, friends, Facebook aquaintances, lovers and lost souls looking to escape. It sizzles with familiarity and concise dialogue with accesible shades of tragicomedy.”

“The steps taken to develop Xavier Coy’s powerhouse play to this its current healthy production level are clearly in evidence when we are drawn into the energy and humanity of this inspiring play.”

Suzy Goes See –

“Life is hard, by Coy’s estimation, but what he presents is perversely delightful. There is a veiled humour to the despondent scenarios being enacted, that feels like a bitter irony acknowledging that our complaints can only ever feel haughty when there are roofs over heads, and no shortage of food in bellies.

In Distorted, we observe the all-consuming nature of these personal problems, whilst forming a perspective that reveals these frustrations to be ultimately inconsequential and somewhat narcissistic. Director Richard Hilliar does an excellent job of depicting both the accuracy of these egocentric experiences, and a wider view that it all amounts to little. The show is captivating in every moment, with Hilliar’s knack for drama keeping us mesmerised.”


Theatre Now – ★ ★ ★ ★

“Hilliar does have a knack of getting the most out of his actors, and all performances are delivered with truth and heart. His decision to have people moving on and off stage during other scenes keeps the pace of the piece up, which is important for the dynamics of the show.

The simple set design by Hamish Elliot is highly effective and something entirely new for the Old 505 space. Black and white, clean lines and a hint to the interconnecting nature of the story tie it all together.

Distorted explores the universal desire for human connection. In a world where that is threatened on a daily, if not hourly, basis by mass hype around a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to remember we’re all in this together. Be kind, don’t hoard toilet paper, and don’t lose your humanity.”