by Paul Gilchrist

18 - 23 February 2020 

Old 505 Theatre

FreshWorks Season

 Photo credit Matt Abotomey

Critical responses to the 2020 production:


Life is Impossible is rich, clever – and funny…

Writer/director Paul Gilchrist triumphantly re-stages one of the

company’s plays after 10 years, and it turns out its

compelling characters, biting humour, and 1940s situation-al attitudes

belong all too neatly into life and society in 2020." 

Chuck Moore Reviews


“There’s some cracker geo-political zingers

that keep the intelligence engaged …

Well worth a look… extremely good."  

Reviews by Judith


"Very entertaining & a great night out…

First class acting…do yourself a favour and see Life Is Impossible." 

Weekend Notes


 “An entertaining and thought-provoking production,

go see Life is Impossible.”

State of the Art Reviews

"This is a good'un.....Gilchrist directs his own work with style and panache"

Stage Whispers

“Clever and fun... performances were solid and approached with verve”

The Buzz From Sydney

 “the production is pared down, minimalist, and beautiful. The famously serious nature of Simone Weil is brought to life by a performance by Chloe Schwank who conveys an authoritarian yet warm image to her Simone Pourpre….. (Elle Harris delivers) a delicate and nuanced performance…. (Abotomey and Costello’s) performances are superb.

Subtlenuance are aptly named in that the theatre company produce pared down works that encourage thought and self-reflection in the most subtle of encounters.”

Lisa Thatcher Reviews

Life Is Impossible relays challenging topics and subject matter in an engaging and emotional manner...Costello is an absolute joy… a thought provoking and well-staged examination of conflicting ideologies”

Theatre Travels

“The script, by Paul Gilchrist, has much to recommend it... pithy one-liners and meaningful monologues with astute observations"

Arts Hub

“Full of sunshine and gaiety …

Gilchrist hones in on a concern for the place of imagination.

Harris and Schwank perform with weight and believability.

Cormac Costello captures the spirit of the play’s

philosophy with a witty and wily characterisation.”

Night Writes


“a riveting work of fiction… All four cast members …

equally strong ...brought an innate sense of vigour and zeal to the stage.” Millenial With An Opinion


It is 1942.

The world is at war.

But Elaine is in New York for the first time.

She’s in love with the skyline, the fashion,

the musicals, and Tom.

The conflict seems so far away – until she meets Simone,

a French Jewish refugee with a terrible secret.

Based on the true story of one of the most

controversial women of the twentieth century.

Life is Impossible


Written and directed by Paul Gilchrist

Featuring Matt Abotomey, Cormac Costello,

Elle Harris and Chloe Schwank

Movement Director Diana Paola Alvarado

Lighting Design Artie Hotchkies

Produced Daniela Giorgi

Photo credit Syl Marie Photography

subtlenuance first produced Life is Impossible in 2010

at the Newtown Theatre and it received terrific responses:


"a profound piece of theatre that explores the human psyche 

whilst simultaneously questioning it… 

Life is Impossible deserves a tip of the hat to subtlenuance’s efforts,

talent and integrity. 

It's an enjoyable show, with thought-provoking one-liners 

spotted with songs, a touch of dance

and all-round bittersweet intrigue. 

Make sure you see this entertaining production" 

[small] LUSTS


"Life Is Impossible is a credit to the ability of Paul Gilchrist”

Aussie Theatre


"The playwright effectively directs the play himself,

and wins good performances from his cast…  

a darker kind of theatre with a strong philosophical and political bent"  

Sydney Arts Guide


 "It’s pretty meta… with kissing and philosophy and a bunch of people who burst into song… the writing is sharp and the performances solid"

The Drum Media


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