The Shape of Things

Written by Neil LaBute

In a modern version of Adam’s seduction by Eve, The Shape of Things pits gentle, awkward Adam against experienced, analytical, amoral Evelyn, a graduate student in art. After a chance meeting at a museum, they embark on an intense relationship that causes shy and principled Adam to go to extraordinary lengths, including cosmetic surgery, and a betrayal of his best friend, to improve his appearance and character. In the process, Evelyn’s subtle and insistent coaching results in a reconstruction of Adam’s fundamental moral character. Only in a final and shocking exhibition does Evelyn reveal the nature of her interest in Adam, of her detached artist’s perspective and sense of authority–to her, Adam is no more than “flesh…. one of the most perfect materials on earth. Natural, beautiful, and malleable.”

Labute’s latest work is an intense and disturbing study not only of the uses of power within human relationships, but also of the ethics involved in the relationship of art and life. To what extent is an artist licensed to shape and change her medium or to alter the work of another artist? What is acceptable artistic material? At what point does creation become manipulation, and at what point does creation destroy? Or, is the new Adam, handsome and confident if heart broken, an admirable result of the most challenging artistic endeavour? The Shape of Things challenges society’s most deeply entrenched ideas about art, manipulation, and love.

Directed by Kim Hardwick

Curriculum Links
Drama Stage 6, English Stage 6
Dates & Times
Tues 12 Sept: 10am
Wed 13 Sept: 10am, 1.30pm
Thurs 14 Sept: 10am, 1.30pm
Fri 15 Sept: 10am, 1.30pm
$25 per Student (Teachers Free). Please enquire for group booking discounts of ten or more.

Kim Hardwick is a stage director and theatre producer.

Recently Kim directed Wild Thing By Suzanne Hawley at Flight Path Theatre and Dead Skin by Laneikka Denne with her company White Box Theatre at KXT. Both productions were very well received. In 2020 she directed and produced Campion Decent’s The Campaign with her company White Box Theatre at the Seymour Centre. In 2019 she directed Starstruck The Musical produced by NIDA with Garry McQuinn, with a book by Mitchell Butel and Hilary Bell based on the screenplay by Stephen Maclean. Earlier in the year she directed and produced Tanya Ronder’s Table with her company White Box Theatre at the Seymour Centre and directed Beth Steel’s Ditch at the Limelight on Oxford. In 2018 she directed Edna Walsh’s The Walworth Farce (Workhorse Theatre), and she produced and directed The Shifting Heart (Seymour Centre). Kim also produced and directed the Blackrock (Seymour Centre) in 2017 and Hurt (Old 505), which won the 2016 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Independent Production. In 2015, she was the Resident Studio Artist for Griffin Theatre Company and directed the lauded production of The House on the Lake.

Kim’s other credits include One Flew Over The Cockoo’s Nest (Sport For Jove), I Love You Now (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), I Love You My Mother and The Shadow Box (both at The Old Fitz), Unholy Ghosts (Griffin Independent), BANG (B Sharp), Time Stands Still and Love Song (both at Darlinghurst Theatre Company), Love Bites (Seymour Centre), The Hatpin (Seymour Centre, which then played at the New York Music Theatre Festival), The Memory of Water (Darlinghurst Theatre Company & NSW regional tour), A Moment on the Lips (Darlinghurst Theatre Company, The Old Fitz and The Stables in NSW, and the Old Council Chamber in Carlton, VIC), Sprung! (National tour), and A Day In The Death of Joe and Dinner With Friends (both at Darlinghurst Theatre Company).

She is a graduate of VCA and WAAPA.

A contemporary story of love, sex, and art set in a college town, the play follows the steadily intensifying relationship between Evelyn and Adam. As Evelyn strengthens her hold on Adam, his emotional and physical evolution discomforts his friends Jenny and Philip, with unexpected consequences for all. By turns hopeful and harsh, the quartet of college-age characters deals with the conflicting human desires for autonomy and connection, truth and love, and the notion that seduction is an art. The questions it raises about love, transformation, art, and morality cut to the quick.

How far would you go for love? For art? What would you be willing to change? Which price might you pay? Such are the painful questions explored by Neil Labute in The Shape of Things. A young student drifts into an ever-changing relationship with an art major while his best friends’ engagement crumbles, so unleashing a drama that peels back the skin of two modern-day relationships, exposing the raw meat and gristle that lie beneath.

– Adam Cook

Contact Info

Forum Performance Precinct,
Ground Level, Italian Forum,
30A/23 Norton street,
Leichhardt, NSW, 2040

+61 2 9310 4077

PO Box 361, Leichhardt NSW 2040

RTO Code: 45065

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