on now, Review

REVIEW: Animal Farm | Revolutionary theatre that hits home

Review | Laura Money

Black Swan State Theatre Company catapults Animal Farm squealing into the twenty-first century with a faithful and fresh adaptation by Van Badham that proves how relatable the work has always been. Performed by a talented cast of three – Andrea Gibbs, Alison Van Reeken and Megan Wilding – the play covers everything in George Orwell’s original novella but intensifies its pertinence through contemporary technologies, personalities, and the pervasiveness of social media. It’s brilliantly crafted theatre that intelligently uses all aspects of stagecraft to create something memorable. Much like the book this play will enter social consciousness and take hold with its powerful imagery, and chilling message.

From the outset, Animal Farm grabs the bull by its horns and sets the tone of the whole show – on stage there is a giant screen dominating the frame with a set of stairs and a platform. Receding into the darkness are several metal fence sections reminiscent of a barn. As the audience settles in we are treated to a mock news report about the rise of Animalism, cleverly designed and created by Michael Carmody which serves as an innovative way to express exposition. After a little laughter, the report ends and a figure emerges from the darkness – it’s Gibbs on a walker as the elderly pig, Old Major. Gibbs brings gravitas to the character from the deep, gravelly voice, to the mannerisms she gets every bit right. Combining the remarkable costuming by Fiona Bruce, each of the performers take on all of their roles with convincing realism. From Old Major to the first pig in charge, Snowball, Gibbs adds an intimidating politician’s air to her performance. She is hilarious as Brenda the chicken, showcasing her quirky facial expressions in the medium of film but it is her turn as Clover the old horse who is careworn and dedicated to her partner Boxer that Gibbs displays a tenderness and humanity that ripples through the audience.

Megan Wilding proves to be just as versatile in her portrayal of Mr Whymper (a human), and slow burn characters Moses the crow and Benjamin the old donkey. Her tone and deliberately slow delivery makes you hang on every word, eliciting a sense that these characters are wise. Wilding also acts as Squealer, perhaps the character to go through the biggest transformation. Squealer is the exact target of propagandists irl (in real life) as is apparent when she bursts onto the stage with all the gossip from the ‘Battle of the Cowshed’ the biggest event of the year. Wilding is high-pitched and Valley girl in her delivery with quite a few OMGs peppering her story. She exuberantly holds her YouTube heroes up on a pedestal while regaling us with their achievements – it’s the perfect 21st century fit for the character. As Squealer moves up to right trotter pig, she starts wearing the farmer’s wife pearls, changing her speech and slowing down a bit to resemble a Sarah Palin, Julie Bishop type of toadie who is forever speaking on behalf of her beloved leaders – spreading lies and political spin with the sincerity of a dishrag.

The third player is celebrated performer Alison Van Reeken who brings her immense talents to perhaps the most diverse characters. From an excellent Leigh Sales impression to the stuck up horse Mollie, Van Reeken proves she is a versatile and intuitive performer. Mollie is one of the hardest characters to portray sympathetically as her defection from Animal Farm is so early on the sympathy is still being held with the pigs and other revolutionaries, yet Van Reeken navigates this masterfully – she leans in to the mannerisms of a fashion conscious, vain horse and is equal parts hilarious and sincere. After ousting Snowball, Van Reeken’s Napoleon the pig takes over as leader. As with any effective bogeyman less is more, and while Napoleon does give a few speeches, the majority of the work is done through body language. In full military regalia, Van Reeken struts, ramrod strait and arrogantly places her hand in her namesake’s pocket. She uses her hands in gestures and mannerisms that resemble Trump and exudes an intimidating presence whenever she is on stage.

Donald Trump and his inciting of violence is a huge influence on this work. Originally set to be on stage for the 2020 season, the play has been updated to reflect events that occurred after the original stage date, such as Trump’s defeat and the storming of Capitol Hill by people whipped into a frenzy. Director Emily McLean takes full advantage of this imagery and plays it to full effect with the clever staging. She uses levels and screen mediated content as means of signalling power struggles and control. Throughout the play we are privy to the fact that the Seven Commandments are changing. By not placing them up on the screen in the first place, the audience joins in the animal’s confusion as they feel their memories fail them – especially when the grim truth hits – they are being changed by the pigs in charge. The characters chosen to be portrayed are also a brilliant reflection of people’s place in the world and wider politics. Van Badham centralises women characters – in a book that doesn’t have many, she pushes the story through a woman’s lens. Obviously the main leaders are still male, but the use of Wilding as Squealer is key to the propping up of the leaders. It is in Clover (Gibbs) and Muriel (Van Reeken) the old goat that this subtle shift occurs – they discuss and relay the story of Boxer the big workhorse as women would do sitting around a kitchen table. This domestic realisation is significant as it highlights the people who are usually casualties of revolution. It is highly tempting to focus on the leaders or big players like history books do, but Badham takes the approach of social historians and champions the people – sorry animals – she is writing about.

Animal Farm is a sharp and clever piece of theatre. It bitingly attacks the screen mediated culture that prevails and serves as a lesson about power going unchecked. It is only when we stand up we can truly be free. The play is a unique blend of cmedy and intelligent political satire that retains its heart and integrity while depicting acts that contradict them. The final lines of the play, and the final edict painted on the wall that have echoed through the decades are rendered chilling in the stunning Black Swan show. All theatre is equal, but some shows are more equal than others – and believe me, this is a compliment to this memorable production.

Animal farm is playing at State Theatre Centre WA until 24th October 2021. Get your tickets HERE

on now, Review

REVIEW: Every Brilliant Thing | Seeking out the joyous things in life one bullet point at a time

Review | Laura Money

Every Brilliant Thing about this show:

  • Luke Hewitt‘s amazing performance
  • Heartfelt and pure declarations of joy
  • A sense of community felt in the crowd
  • The list resonating with you
  • Laughing at previously taboo things
  • Calling out and becoming part of the show
  • Being with others
  • All of it

Hewitt’s list starts a little differently from mine – with ice cream, rollercoasters, and the colour yellow. These are the good things in the world as seen by a seven year old. As the audience calls out these simple delights they seem whimsical and pure – until Hewitt reveals the origins of the list. A list compiled at the time of his mother’s suicide attempt tinges the brilliant things with sadness. It is their joyous nature that jar with the bitterness of the situation. However, this is one of the most uplifting shows about depression ever written – it doesn’t claim to have any answers but uses one person’s ideas for seeing the good and the worth in the world and in humanity, which is a pretty good answer in my book.

Written and devised by playwright Duncan Macmillan and comedian/performer Jonny Donahoe the work is simple: a show in the round – which means there are four sides of seating with every section facing the middle where the performer stands. One performer – this can be anyone, male, female, non-binary as the narrator, in this case the brilliant Luke Hewitt. And all the house lights on – the audience is as much a part of the show as the performer. Every Brilliant Thing doesn’t really break the fourth wall – it never builds it up to be torn down in the first place. Through Hewitt’s affable nature and the sense of camaraderie from the intimate set up, the show is designed to focus all of its joy and heartache and hash it out in a kind environment. Black Swan State Theatre Company have certainly uncovered a gem in this buoyant and heartwarming experience.

As the show progresses and the audience becomes more and more involved, which serves as an elegant metaphor for community mindedness and how we all must come together and help one another. Hewitt is gentle in his approach to audience participation, coaching and encouraging the people in their performances. When his eagle eye searches for his next character, no-one is shrinking in their seats, as they know that they’re in the affable Hewitt’s capable hands. Through early loss with the death of beloved family dog, Sherlock Bones, to processing his mother’s illness and the repercussions her actions and his list have on his future, Hewitt relays these parts of the story with a clear voice and genuine emotion. Hewitt is the perfect fit for this role as he captures the essence of a confused seven year old, a university student on the verge of true love, and a slightly baffled 40-something divorcee with deft storytelling skills and enough heart to light the entire room.

Every Brilliant Thing is just that – every brilliant thing about theatre. It tells a truthful, heartfelt story that resonates, it brings people together around a topic usually hidden, it features cascading beautiful words that flow from Hewitt in an earnest monologue, and it contains a message of hope. Encouraging you to marvel at the world and the people in it, this play’s ethos is perhaps humanity’s most important function – to love and support one another – life is made easier with friends to talk to and shoulders to cry on and we can bond just as powerfully over positive shared experiences.

Trigger warnings for mental health and suicide

If you need to talk to someone you can find a list of resources in the program

Every Brilliant Thing is on at the State Theatre Centre from 25th August – 18th September 2021. You can get your tickets HERE

Past Production, Review

REVIEW: York | Layers of history intertwine in this unique approach to place

Review | Laura Money

We are all just visitors of this time, this place, we are all just passing through.

Co-Director Ian Wilkes

Set on Ballardong boodja, York uses the site of the old hospital as its silent witness to the past and the bloody and intriguing history that sweeps through one particular place. Written by upcoming new voices Ian Michael and Chris Isaacs, both of whom have had a huge impact on the Perth theatre scene in recent years, the tale is set over three main periods – a couple seeking a ‘tree change’, a school camp in 1985, and as the original hospital in the aftermath of World War I. It’s a sweeping, epic tale that goes way back through 200 years of suffering and pain, highlighting the human experience in a unique and surprisingly fun way. It’s a play of collaborations – the writers collaborate, the directors Ian Wilkes and Clare Watson work well together, as does the ensemble cast and the result is a well-conceived piece to be proud of – this is Black Swan State Theatre Company at the top of their game.

Beginning in 2020 and working backwards, the play starts off funny and quirky – Alison Van Reeken and Shareena Clanton play couple Emma and Rosy as they move into the old hospital building, ready to renovate. After a hilarious exchange with movers Ben Mortley and Maitland Schnaars we realise all is not quite as it seems. Mortley and Schnaars refuse to place any boxes upstairs and at first this appears to be country banter and casual laziness but soon transpires that this is not the case. The 2020 scenes seem straightforward and charming – lulling you into a false sense of security until neighbour Shauna (Jo Morris) shows up. Shauna is a clairvoyant and the more she talks the more little spooky occurrences are exposed. Technical elements are pulled off magnificently, from windows shutting on their own to jugs leaping off the kitchen counter, it’s impressive.

What makes the show so successful is the brilliant set design by Zoe Atkinson. It’s a multi-story marvel that is part cross section and part closed set – complete with mysterious closed door at the top of the stairs that is used to maximum effect. There is so much detail, and the versatility of the set means it can span multiple eras with minimum changes. Your eyes will constantly rove every centimetre of the set for clues and the payoff at the end when it all clicks into place cement the set design and story as an interconnected work. Moving on to the 1985 section, the characters are different once again, yet the ‘house’ remains the same. This time, you notice the beds upstairs as they become used for a camp. There are great performances here by Perth mainstay Isaac Diamond, rising star Elise Wilson, and WAYTCO alumni Benjamin and Jacob Narkle and Sophie Quin. Based on true events, York is now a poltergeist style haunted house story – it has all the elements of classic horror: a school camp in the middle of summer, kids telling ghost stories, a real haunting, and kids daring each other to do stupid things. The camp section is hilarious, daggy as it embraces every bit of eighties style, and scary. I have never been in an audience that audibly gasp whenever something spooky happens but this whole audience remained on the edge of their seats, some people covering their eyes. For a show to elicit that response is remarkable, not since Let The Right One In have Black Swan audiences been so viscerally responsive.

Each section of York has a distinct tone, and the 1919 section is a little tense and formal. It is also the part where the audience is finally given answers, elegantly wrapping up the stories of the future. It’s brilliantly performed by all of the cast, but special mention must be given to Van Reeken and Clanton who really shine. Van Reeken plays the Matron who we kind of meet in the previous section and her performance is so nuanced as she maintains her principles, yet proves to be a kind and caring woman. Clanton’s pleas to help her sick son in a time where Aboriginal people were not granted medical help in hospitals is agonising and her heartfelt pleas will stay with you. The story then shifts one final time, to the early colonial era when tensions were high between white settlers and Aboriginal people dispossessed from their own land. The devastating part of the story recounted is that it is true. The ensemble cast stand in a line and deliver the story to the audience unflinchingly raw and messy. This is a powerful technique as it shows the time for antics and staging is over – it’s now time to listen properly and not speculate. It’s brilliantly effective theatre.

York is a wonderfully layered work that seeks to uncover the layers of the past. It demonstrates that history and stories are all around us and if we just connected to the land we might regain a sense of place. It is respectful of all who have used this land and all who may in the future. Brilliantly written, directed, and staged York is a local piece that should see the world stage. It’s a WA masterpiece and should be celebrated as such.

York played at the State Theatre Centre WA from 10th July to 1st August 2021.

on now, PERTH FESTIVAL, Review

PERTH FESTIVAL 2021 | The Cherry Orchard | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard, now everything is easy because of you

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

When people think of nineteenth century Russian literature, they don’t often associate it with 80s Australia. Thankfully, Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin think along those lines because their adaptation of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard is the perfect fit for 1980s Perth – it’s full of the boom and bust economy, cheap suits, fashions, and the hedonism of the decade. Black Swan State Theatre Company have really nailed it with this production – a whole experience that takes classic theatre and rips it from the proscenium arch to land at Perth’s foreshore in a stunning immersive evening that weaves the audience into the show. Cleverly adapted by Daff and Tonkin, and instinctively directed by the brilliant Clare Watson, The Cherry Orchard takes you in as family, and you feel its highs and lows palpably. Quite simply, it’s intelligent and fun theatre with a focus on entertainment.

This production, presented as part of Perth Festival takes place at the beautiful, if slightly crumbling Sunset Heritage Precinct. There are four parts to the play and the audience walks from location to location as the sun sets throughout the duration of the play. Food and bars are available, all themed with a delightful Russian twist – Peorgies anyone? – and the whole thing is on point for its theming. There is an absolute buzz sitting in the first location – a hall with parts of a house set up – Zoe Atkinson is at the top of her game with phenomenal set and costume design. There are instantly recognisable elements from the wooden family table to the pipe bed and older, slightly kitsch couches that were probably a few generations in. It’s her absolute attention to detail that shines here – from references to popular culture (Kieran Clancy-Lowe) has a distinct Michael Hutchence look, to a hilarious apron, tongs and distinct picnic setting, to the perfectly chosen costumes later at the fancy dress party. It’s truly a delight for the eyes with a focus on reality, so while there are a few bright over-the-top items like neon mesh, the majority of the costuming reflects what we really wore rather than a dress up version – think distressed denim ruffle skirts as opposed to going full Madonna.

A Homecoming

This first section sees Ranyevskaya (Hayley McElhinney) return to the family homestead complete with entourage Yasha (Kieran Clancy-Lowe) and Charlotta (Michelle Fornasier), her daughter home from boarding school, Anya (Bridie McKim) and brother Gayev (Brendan Hanson). There is anticipation and a little foreshadowing set up before they even arrive by family maid Dunyasha (Emily Rose Brennan), her love interest and family accountant Yepikhodov (Sam Longley) and very old servant Firs (George Shevtsov) running around with nervous energy trying to get everything ready. There are also neighbours in Lopakhin (Ben Mortley), Piss-Cheek (Humphrey Bower) and Trofimov (Mark Nannup) plus the angry daughter who was left behind, Varya (Grace Chow). Confused yet? Yeah, me too – this is my only criticism of this adaptation – as these characters and their relationships are based off of their nineteenth century Russian counterparts, they retain their names and relationships to one another. I think there’s an inconsistency if they’re happy to name Pischik Piss-cheek why not just go full Australian? The changing of governess and manservant to general hedonistic entourage of Charlotta and Yasha respectively is clever, yet too many vestiges of class structures of nineteenth century Russia are present. There are a few jarring moments as the language moves from Aussie slang to a heavy Russian name.

The homecoming is everything a woman with an entourage should expect – hedonistic, jubilant, late night and celebratory and it’s easy to get swept up in it all. McElhinney is perfectly cast, equal parts overly dramatic and gaily frivolous, she cavorts about the stage ensuring that every eye is upon her. Of course, Hanson’s Gayev is not to be outshone as he joyfully gets drunk and toasts to the 100 year old bookcase in what should be ridiculous but he makes it hilarious. Hanson as Gayev is everyone’s silly uncle from their childhood and instantly loveable, despite his often catty remarks. Clare Watson’s direction is deft and clever, as people in the audience turn their head to look for the orchard or the front door, knowing full well it’s not actually there. Every character is distinct and played well, fitting into a different stereotype which helps to figure out who is who.

A Family BBQ

The audience is then invited to promenade down to the river bank to a family bbq where Clancy-Lowe and Longley are barbequeing and playing a Casio keyboard. They improvise unmicrophoned until the crowd settles in. Here, Lucy Birkinshaw’s lighting design comes to life as this act is performed at the setting of the sun. Birkinshaw subtly illuminates a beautiful gum that serves as background to the bbq using soft oranges and reds that change as the sun goes down. It’s stunning. Having established who everyone is now, the cast can have fun and also begin to address their desires, fears and failures. Brennan and Clancy-Lowe get up close and personal sexual tension crackling between them, Shevtsov and Fornasier share an intimate moment discussing belonging, and McElhinney gives a haunting soliloquy about how she feels unloved and taken advantage of. Mortley almost seems to drop his sleazy businessman persona and offers her a moment of human compassion. He is so expressive in his eyes, the betrayal cuts deeper later on.

Being set firmly in the 80s, all of the tensions and philosophy surrounding the Bicentennial are addressed intelligently and sensitively by Daff and Tonkin. Nannup stares unflinchingly at the audience and reminds them that the land they are on belongs to his ancestors. It elegantly breaks the fourth wall and conveys the responsibility we all have in ensuring that history is never repeated or perpetuated. As the sun sets on the second act, we are prompted to reflect on our connection to the land we occupy and the river we walk alongside.

A Party

Hedonism abounds in the party of the decade! Atkinson’s costuming is on point and Dr Clint Bracknell‘s blistering sound design shows off his knack for using music to infuse pop culture of the era into the work. Every single song is cleverly curated to reflect the situation – from Our House forming the idyllic homestead to Burning Down The House when all seems to go to shit (pardon my French.) There are even classic party hits like I Want to Dance With Somebody and clever nods to the original Russian play in Rasputin. The party takes you straight back to the silliness of parties in a dare I say, more innocent era – it represents the end of an era, not only for the family in terms of ownership but for Perth’s moneyed elite in the Bond era, the last hurrah before economic crashes. The set is perfect, I’m sure everybody had an outdoor dining set like that at some point and each character’s fancy dress costume is so fitting! McHelhinney shines as either Madonna or Monroe depending on how you view it, Bower is so funny in his sherrif on the horse – he cavorts about with an occa brashness that garners more than a few smiles, and Longley steals the show as a pickle. Yep, a pickle. His downtrodden comedic style is endearing, and he manages to elicit both sympathy and laughter – a rare talent. Even Chow brilliantly depicts her high strung Varya by dressing as Princess Leia but not really wearing the buns properly – as though she will go along with a party but still wants to be taken seriously.

The whole thing goes downhill upon Mortley’s return and McElhinney gives the performance of a lifetime. Mortley blindly celebrates in drunken exuberance as McElhinney leans upon a chair supporting her lest she collapse, ashen faced and bewildered. She is amazing as her whole world crashes down and the remnants of her former dramatic self are shocked into actual despair. Mortley plays drunk well, a bounce in his step as he surveys the devastation around him.

A Farewell

It is with heavy tread that the audience make their way back to the main hall to find it stripped of furniture and full of packing boxes. People are visibly upset to see the set removed, as it almost served as another character in the work. Each actor mills about, some with purpose and some in denial and there is one last moment for McElhinney and Hanson to stand in the empty room and reflect – it is a pale imitation of their opening moments together, coming full circle. Ending on a poignant note with Shevtsov’s Firs breathing his last breath at the very place he took his first, this segment cleverly pays homage to its source material. It does seem a little at odds with the stylistic aesthetic of the rest of the show, however by placing the action in a separate stage, Watson gives a respectful nod to how the traditions of theatre have changed allowing them to put on such an immersive experience while acknowledging all that came before her. It’s details like this that make The Cherry Orchard an absolute triumph.

You can get your tickets for this unique experience HERE

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on now, Review

PERTH FESTIVAL 2020 | Cloudstreet | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Themes of spirituality and the river pulse thorough this latest production of Cloudstreet Directed by Matthew Lutton in a collaboration with Black Swan State Theatre Company, The Malthouse Theatre and Perth Festival 2020. The last time this particular epic was tackled it was in a huge warehouse in Fremantle and the performance was split over two days – this time, it’s a far more palatable 5 ish hours. The Pickles and the Lambs have moved into the newly refurbished His Majesty’s Theatre for a night of laughter and tears, love and loss, spirit and community that takes place over twenty years of these two families living side by side. Lutton brings Tim Winton’s novel to life and adds some unique features that prove there is always room for improvement – even on a classic.

Black Swan’s choice of sweeping epic family drama is obviously no accident. Winton himself said at Black Swan’s 2020 Season Launch that he could not have written this novel in today’s climate as it is essentially a work of great optimism and he sees no hope in today’s world, and the 1998 production reflects this sense of timeliness. Lutton and co take a slightly less doom and gloom approach to the play, framing the work around the Noongar story – their words serving as a cautionary tale – do not make the mistake of ignoring the land, water, and those who came before us. Zoe Aitkinson has created a pared back and elegant set which serves as the silent extra character (the house), the simplicity of water and sandstone, the curve of the coast, and of course the stunning real water that trips and pools in the middle of the stage, reflecting back onto the actors. With such a simple set, Lutton must draw upon Paul Jackson’s stark and punchy lighting and Elizabeth Drake’s sweeping score for tension and a local flavour.

Lutton’s bold show pulls no punches – it begins with a sharp hit to the guts in Fish’s ‘lucky’ escape from drowning, the aftermath being why the Lamb family decide to move into Cloudstreet. Representation and diversity is an intergral part of theatre-making in the twenty first century, and this is reflected in the decision to cast Benjamin Oakes in the role of Fish Lamb – Oakes is an actor with an intellectual disability, and in playing Fish, provides poignant dignity to the role. He not only provides light to the show, the charcter does not shy away from some of the uglier parts of society – ostracism, parental love being pushed to its limits, even people being uncomfortable when confronted with disabilty. Noongar actors, Ian Michael and Ebony McGuire provide a voice for the voiceless in framing the story with an Aboriginal voice – a spititualty missing from the novel (well it was probably there but framed as the land) – they act as gatekeepers for the souls of the ghosts and narrate the story throughout. It’s a great technique and ties together an otherwise melodramatic plot with a hint of a higher purpose.

Inter-generational tensions run high as each family works out its dynamic – Mr Pickles (Bert LaBonte) and Mr Lamb (Greg Stone) each represent differing views on masculinity. Whereas Pickles is happy to gamble and take a risk – sometimes to the point of self-destruction, Lamb must work extra hard to keep his family afloat. Both of their wives are no longer able to provide the mothering role, for one reason or another, so we see the men grapple with feeling useless and being relied on simultaneously. There is a touching moment as Stone washes Oakes for his bath and he does so with such tenderness, it is hard to witness his frustration manifest itself in a physical outburst that drives his other son away. Of course the next generation of men, represented by Quick (Keegan Joyce) are not interested in the warmongering violence of their father’s generations. We see Sam Pickles and Lester Lamb physically and psychologically castrated and unable to fight in the war, then see Quick Lamb self-desctructing and creating his own impotence as he attempts to find and kill the Nedlands Monster.

Cloudstreet_His_Majesty's Theatre LR Brenna Harding and Natasha Herbert._photo credit Philip Gostelow10

Perhaps the strongest relationship is between mother and daughter – Dolly (Natasha Herbert) and Rose Pickles (Brenna Harding). They have an interesting dynamic, Dolly is loose, gregarious, alcoholic, and dissatisfied with her lot, yet not willing to pack it in, and Rose is introspective, shy, bookish, and unsure how to leave. Tensions run high as Dolly realises that Sam cares for Rose more than her, and that Rose will never respect her. Herbert is phenomenal – she is the stand out actor in a strong ensemble piece. Casually holding her cigarette on her bottom lip, she pouts, pure anger shining in her malevolent eyes as she rips into Harding, who has nothing but contempt in return. Despite the darkness, there are moments of levity which uplift the audience – much like a reflection of Australian history – as the kids all choose their rooms in a new space, go to the beach, celebrate Christmases, weddings, and even deliver pure joy in the form of ice cream to the audience.

Cloudstreet hits you with a wave of nostalgia. From the costuming to the language used, to the refrain of ice-cream shouted in the streets, to Perth landmarks, and sibling rivalry, the work is so painfully nostalgic it has a slight sad tinge to it. In an already nostalgic book (written in the 90s set in the 40s – 60s), Cloudstreet is layered with multi-generation views on family relationships, masculnity, femininity, economics, childhood, innocence, and violence. It marks the end of innocence with its references to real life serial killer, Eric Edgar Cook, and the changing attitudes of Perth – from a big country town to a bustling city. Did we need yet another rendition of Cloudstreet? Probably not, however Lutton’s take on the work is great – it’s an exceptionally entertaining night out, albeit a long one! There are some things that could have been cut, as it does drag towards the end, but ultimately what remains is a sensitive, heartfelt play that speaks to all generations and celebrates life in its purest sense.

WHEN: 21st February – 15th March 2020 | Multiple times

WHERE: His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $39 – $149 | Duration 5hrs 25mins | Recommended 12+ | Contains adult material, coarse language, herbal cigarettes, gunshot sounds

LINK: https://bsstc.com.au/plays/cloudstreet