One Hour No Oil, Kwento | Review

Don’t have time to read the full review? Click here for a quick summary of the who, what, where and wine of this production.

Kenneth Moraleda and Jordan Shea’s One Hour No Oil, directed by Moraleda, examines mining work culture and the CALD migrant experience in Australia in a unique and immensely valuable light rarely seen on the Aussie stage.

In a Perth massage parlour, Bhing brings relief to the aches and pains of many with his skilful hands, but he struggles to give himself and his son the life he envisioned when they migrated to Australia from the Philippines. Then one day a new client, FIFO worker Scott, comes in with aches and pains far deeper than the physical, and through a series of appointments, they grapple with their polarising values around race and sexual orientation, toxic masculinity and mental health.

Everything about this play is delicate and balanced under Moraleda’s direction. Bhing’s (John Gomez Goodway) movements are fluid as if he is moving in water, and the music and lighting are gentle, all of which emphasise the disruption Scott (Shaw Cameron) causes to the massage parlour and more broadly in Bhing’s life. This approach also shows in a profound way the impact of toxic masculinity on Scott, who struggles to feel safe within such a calm and soothing environment. Although the story contains a significant amount of dialogue, the most impactful element is the choreography of Bhing and Scott’s massage sessions together; we see with our own eyes as Scott begins to feel safe, and when he lashes out Bhing’s movements stray from their easy fluidity, becoming harsh and abrasive.

A welcome accompaniment to Bhing and Scott’s Par de Deux is musician Alec Steedman, whose live performance of an array of musical instruments including the violin, and occasional character cameo add depth and movement to the story.

The visual of these vastly different characters learning to move in uneasy harmony and the broader ripples their relationship creates in each of their lives sticks in your head long after the memory of dialogue falls away. A valuable addition to the Australian theatre scene, and one that I hope returns to future stages.

Find out more about this production here.

Pinot Noir | Wine Pairing

It was an interesting exercise to think about which wine to pair with a play that interrogates toxic masculinity. For so long, wine has been a ‘woman’s drink’ while beer and dark spirits maketh the man. It was tempting to pick something with spice, savoury and earthy notes, those more stereotypically ‘manly.’ It was also tempting to go in the complete opposite direction and pair it with something sweet, light and bubbly. Ultimately though, I just felt that what these characters need least in the world is more stress. So, I’ve chosen a classic cool-climate pinot noir. It has substance in terms of texture and flavour, without being overwhelming. A safe and sumptuous drink for all.

My Pick: Yering Station, 2021 Little Yering Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, VIC

This Pinot Noir is a beautifully versatile and affordable wine, which combines cherry and berry flavours with some subtle pepper and spice on the palate.

Pick up a bottle from the producer here.

One Hour No Oil, Kwento | Tasting Notes

Aussie Season26 Oct to 5 Nov, KXT Bakehouse. Produced by KWENTO
Ticket $$35-45
WriterKenneth Moraleda and Jordan Shea
DirectorKenneth Moraleda
Theatre Type & GenrePlay,  Drama
See it if you likechallenging social norms, original writing
Other Info
Wine PairingPinot Noir
Criteria for Wine Pairingcrowd-pleaser, mix of fruit and earthiness
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