Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Theatre: The Mars Project (★★★★)

Written and directed by Will O’Mahony
Lighting designed by Chris Donnelly
Performed by Luke Fewster, Andrea Gibbs, Felicity McKay, Will O’Mahony and Steve Turner
The Blue Room
Until May 7

Andrea Gibbs (pic Cameron Etchells)
It’s only eight months since Will O’Mahony’s The Mars Project was staged by WAAPA’s 3rd year Acting students.
I questioned whether it could be successfully produced except under the auspices of an institution like WAAPA. O’Mahony has achieved it triumphantly.
The project of the title is a scheme to send four “colonists” on a one-way (and inevitably fatal) mission to the red planet.
Wren (Felicity McKay) joins 200,000 applicants for the project, and as her application survives cull after cull, down to the last 50, her ambition for fame and ruthlessness grows to a tragic intensity.
None of this matters to her autistic twin brother Sam (Luke Fewster), in his closed, compulsive world. Wren, like Earth to the silent Mars, was born with him but has chosen her own path.

It’s powerful, painful material, performed by an outstanding cast. Once again Andrea Gibbs shows that she’s as fine a dramatic actor as she is a comedian and improviser, in a performance that sits squarely in the human heart of this remarkable play. 

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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