I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Coma Land for Perth Walkabout:
In the space between life and death lies Coma Land, a snowy purgatory that lonely child genius Boon wakes up in at the beginning of the play.
I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of The Lighthouse Girl for Perth Walkabout:
As I waited for the Perth premiere of The Lighthouse Girl to begin, I felt like I was on a boat drifting towards an island, with the sound of waves crashing around the intimate theatre, the rocky landscape on the stage in front of me, and even the way my chair shook as the audience walked down the steps to find their seats.
Adapted by Hellie Turner from Dianne Wolfer’s award-winning books, The Lighthouse Girl and The Light Horse Boy, the play is set during the outbreak of World War I. Fay lives an isolated existence on Breaksea Island, south-east of Albany, with her father and old Joe. Fay’s father is Breaksea’s lighthouse keeper; her mother died several months earlier, and her only other companions are her donkey and her diary. Meanwhile, in country Victoria, best friends Charlie and Jim lie about their age to enlist as soldiers, anticipating a great overseas adventure together.
I reviewed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of A Perfect Specimen for Perth Walkabout:
Haunting squeals and whistles echoed around the room as the audience descended into the theatre for the opening night of A Perfect Specimen. On a dimly lit, two-tiered circular stage stood three A-frames, featuring provocative headlines like Behold! The Monkey Woman. Then Theodore Lent emerged from the curtains, tapped his cane sharply on the ground and – in an ominous, booming voice – invited us to the show.
A Perfect Specimen, by Perth-born award-winning playwright Nathaniel Moncrieff, is inspired by the true story of Julia Pastrana. She was born in the 1830s with hypertrichosis and gingival hyperplasia, which resulted in hair that covered her body, as well as enlarged gums and irregular teeth. Dubbed the “Bear Woman” and an “ape”, among other things, Julia travelled the world as part of a freak show managed by her husband – Theodore Lent.