Saturday, 15 June 2019

When The Light Leaves review

Imagine you’re a 34-year-old man with a job that while you might not love, it allows you to live the happy life you lead. What you do love however is your boyfriend and the house that you share. You have dreams of travelling the world together. Now imagine getting diagnosed with terminal cancer. What happens next? In Rory Godbold’s first play When The Light Leaves, this becomes a reality for one person who needs to make one of the most tragic – and controversial – choices of his life.

When The Light Leaves non-linear narrative consists of numerous shifts in time and perspective that allows for the story to be told with significant care and development. Fortunately, the cast that has been assembled is more than able to meet the challenges of this production, especially Tomas Parrish who plays Dan, the aforementioned 34-year-old. He displays great ability to equally highlight Dan’s resolve and fear and in switching from being broken and pained to carefree and hopeful. Leigh Scully elicits a touching sincerity as Liam, Dan’s boyfriend, as he finds himself in denial of the future that is facing the couple. Together with Parrish, the relationship they present on stage feels like it has a genuine history and with a deep felt connection between them.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Drive review

In 2007, NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, embarked on a 14-hour drive to confront her ex-partner's new girlfriend. When apprehended by police, they discovered a wig, a BB pistol and ammunition, pepper spray, an 8-inch knife and a hammer in her car. This was clearly not intended to be a friendly visit. Drive, a new Australian work by Rebecca Meston, looks to explore not only what causes a woman who seemingly has everything to have a complete breakdown and become enveloped by revenge, but also to contemplate the expectations that are placed on women by society to play certain roles.

Unfortunately, Drive is unable to live up to the excitement of its origin and spreads itself far too thin as it attempts to make a commentary about the various factors surrounding this event. The production is too cold and distant in allowing the audience to understand our protagonist's frame of mind, and this comes mainly from the writing and the direction. Considering that Nowak wore adult diapers during her drive to prevent any unnecessary stops, Meston's script has no sense of urgency and is void of any tension and suspense. Sasha Zahra's direction is too focused in theatricality and not from a connection or emotional response to the story.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

THEM review

Unless you've lived through a war, it would be near impossible to understand the thoughts and feelings of those who have survived one. However, in Samah Sabawi's THEM, the audience is presented with an intimate exploration of five people who are caught in a war zone in the Middle East and the decisions they must make to simply stay alive.

Leila and Omar (Priscilla Doueihy and Abdulrahman Hammoud) are a young married couple with a baby, facing the agonising struggle of either leaving their village to become refugees for potentially the rest of their lives or staying put and seeing what eventuates. Omar's friends, Mohamad and Majid (Reece Vella and Khishraw Jones-Shukoor), each have their own issues to deal with as they plan their own escapes. The arrival of Salma (Claudia Greenstone), Omar's sister, who had made some questionable choices during the war, provides hope and despair for these people, which could ultimately lead to her own undoing.