Monday, May 30, 2016

Theatre: Sugarland (★★★★)

by Rachael Coopes with Wayne Blair
Australian Theatre for Young People
Presented by Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Directed by Fraser Corfield and David Page
Designed by Jacob Nash
Lighting design by Juz McGuire
Sound designer by Guy Webster
Costume design by Ruby Langton-Batty
Performed by Narek Arman, Eliza Logan, Xanthe Paige, Calen Tassone, Jonas Thompson and Dubs Yunupingu
State Theatre Centre Studio
May 27, 28 & 30, 2016

Narek Arman and Jonas Thompson
 No two remote towns are the same, but Katherine, in the Northern Territory, could serve as a model for them all. The Australian Theatre for Young People’s Sugarland, set in its red-dirt streets, is about the lives of children in all those dusty towns, learning to get by, maybe even get ahead, against formidable odds.
Rachael Coopes, working with Wayne Blair, developed Sugarland over an extended period in Katherine, and its sense of place is deep-rooted and immaculately drawn. So, too, are the characters that Coopes, Blair and the directors Fraser Corfield and the late David Page bring to life in the play.
Sugarland is not perfect; the lucrative song competition that drives the story is a shaky, brusquely resolved, vehicle.
But the lively authenticity of the characters and their situations, and the wonderful performances by the entire cast, make Sugarland a vivid, sometimes excruciating, window into fragile lives in hard places.

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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