Contemporary sci-fi dystopian fiction is not traditionally a genre you associate with the theatre, yet Hand in Hand Theatre Company are pushing the limits with A Mind Transcendent. Inspired by and clearly referencing the many young adult dystopian novels and series currently circulating our bookshelves, Jordan Baynes has written a script that steps right off the pages of these popular novels.
The set is great – two bunker-style doorways flank a raised platform where three Judgement League members sit, overseeing the action. They look straight out of The Hunger Games – coldness and quirky hair and everything. As Summer (Tiarn Hutton), Ethan (Domenic Scriva) and Soren (Kamara Churchill) wake up, they are forced to work together to complete a series of tests (a la Maze Runner) and many different ways of thinking are questioned.
Scriva’s Ethan is hotheaded, arrogant and selfish. He dismisses Soren’s ways of approaching the tasks and bombards her with his strong personality. Scriva is perhaps a little over the top and could do with shouting less to get his point across. His strength is in his relatable delivery when discussing his sister. Churchill provides an empathetic Soren – sincerity etched onto her face. Her eyes are full of expression although her character does get a little lost in the action.
Baynes’ script is gripping and fast-paced but could do with some trimming. There are almost too many ultimatum moments and twists, although the cast handles them well. Hand in Hand Theatre Company have got something special here with A Mind Transcendent. Not only is the set and costuming clever and resourceful, the acting is solid, and the direction by Justin Mosel-Crossley acknowledges the genre, translating it to the stage well.
Review | Laura Money
WHEN: 12 – 14 July 2018 | 7pm
WHERE: Studio 411 Murdoch University
INFO: Tickets $20 | Duration 120 mins including interval | Suitable 15+