Sunday 18 September 2016

Blind Spot - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

In 1972, Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland, kidnapped six female pupils and their teacher in the rural town of Faraday. They demanded a million-dollar ransom but were later captured when the hostages  escaped. Fast forward 34 years later, and Daniel Santangeli's immersive theatre performance Blind Spot offers a fresh look at this crime and its related events for Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Blind Spot is a show for two people at a time (so bookings are absolutely essential) and begins at the end of the story as we work our back to the start. As we play the role of the two men, we are taken through various moments surrounding this event, located in prisons, courtrooms and homes. The less said about the story and the process of the show the better, as the element of surprise and the unknown works best here.

Performers, Elizabeth Millington and Kieran Law, excel in their roles, playing a myriad of characters with distinct personalities: from a loving sister, to a firm and authoritative prison guard to a bumbling lawyer, there is strong commitment from both. There are numerous moments where how we choose to respond to what's being presented changes the way a scene is played out, and in return Millington and Law ensure that their characters react appropriately and honestly while sticking to the overall scripted story.

Yvette Turnbull creates an authentic world in the Northcote Town Hall with her set design and the ways in which the space is re-used to create the different environments is masterful. A particular highlight is the conversation during the prison visiting hours via the direct connect phones. The lighting design throughout the show is also executed well, especially during the opening moments, with a sense of unease and vulnerability pulsating in the room.

While there are a number of immersive and interactive experiences throughout this festival, and all worthy of an audience, what sets Blind Spot apart is that it explores an intriguing piece of Australian crime history that leaves you questioning what drives people to do the things they do.

Click here for my interview with director Daniel Santangeli. 

Venue: Northcote Town Hall, 189 High St, Northcote, 3070
Season: until 1 October | Wed - Sun 5:15pm, 6pm, 6:45pm, 8:15pm, 9pm Sat-Sun also 2:15pm, 3pm, 3:45pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

*Original review appeared on TheatrePress on 17 September 2016.

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