Unlike a play with its final curtain call, there’s no neat conclusion for families of the missing. Lachlan Philpott’s achievement is to craft a lyrical theatre piece out of that singular horror.
Colder, opening at Red Stitch this month, began with a personal story. “The play is a meditation on a friend of mine, Simon Knight, who went missing in Sydney in 2005.”
Philpott doesn’t use the words “inspired by”, because meditation better fits the way he’s woven the real story he knows intimately with a fictional structure.
“Colder is really about a gay man who goes missing in a big city and nobody seems to have any idea where he is. I’ve always found it fascinating and worrying, particularly in this age of surveillance and in a community like Sydney’s queer community where people are quite visible and people are constantly watching out for one another, that people go missing. It’s sad and strange and sinister as well.”