Monday, October 17, 2011

Theatre: The Damned

By Reg Cribb
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Directed by Andrew Lewis
Featuring Sage Douglas, Amanda Woodhams, Claire Lovering, Wade Briggs, Greg McNeill and Polly Low
Designed by Alicia Clements
The Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre
October 14 - 30, 2011

Sage Douglas 
In a small town called Rainbow, where The Damned sets its scene, a pair of star-crossed lovers take a life.
Based in part on several tragedies across regional Australia, Reg Cribb’s sad story is about the isolation and alienation of young people in small towns, the damage it does them and that they do. It's a difficult tale to tell, and watch, but it succeeds against the odds because Cribb maintains a firm hold on the narrative and director Andrew Lewis has drawn fine performances from the young actors playing its central characters.
Kylie (Sage Douglas) was bound to meet Natasha (Amanda Woodhams) at Rainbow’s ramshackle high school, and just as certain to fall under her spell. Natasha is a Fury, contemptuous of everything and everybody about her, and she is bad medicine for the sad, impressionable Kylie. Into this small, corroding world comes Melody (Claire Lovering), a runaway from Perth’s western suburbs, and Kylie is entranced. But Melody isn’t like them, and her attachment to life, her self-regard, exposes the girls in ways Kylie can’t handle and Natasha won’t tolerate.
Woodhams, who is scarily brilliant as Natasha, and Lovering, a homecoming queen from top to toe, deliver memorable performances larger than the small lives they are playing. 

Douglas’s Kylie is at the heart of the play because she is its one absolutely true character, and she is totally convincing from the moment she sidles up to Natasha in the school playground to when she stands over Melody, an improvised garrotte in her hand.
Alicia Clements’ set, a life-size, rusting drive-in movie screen, is a simple and effective metaphor for a town whose best days, such as they were, are well behind it, and sound designer James Luscombe, lighting designer Joseph Mercurio and audiovisual designer Mia Holton give a sinister, portentous fabric upon which Lewis and his cast print their unlovely, memorable, cautionary tale of lost lives and lives lost.        
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian

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