Adelaide Festival Review: Blackout


Skilfully directed with a top-notch production team, Blackout deserves to be seen, but do not panic if you don’t understand it completely.

Presented by Stone/Castro
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Two things helped sum up this reviewer’s thoughts on Paulo Castro and Jo Stone’s latest production, Blackout: Firstly, at the end of the performance, the AC Arts stage is a mess of chaos and detritus. Secondly, an audience member remarked that they were going home to study the programme for more details regarding what they had just seen – trust me, the programme won’t help!

Stone/Castro are known for their ‘off-the-wall’ productions, but some things, the ending in particular, are so off-the-wall that this reviewer thought he was looking at a totally different wall.

That’s not to say that the story of a group of wedding guests on a cruise boat that seem to experience an alien encounter isn’t good theatre – it is! In fact, there are sections of the production that are stunning and brilliant: the stylised opening and the encounter, in particular, are sheer excellence. The main problem is that the entire performance just goes too long. There is only so much angst and cleverness one can take.

Other impressive factors are the physical strengths and acting talents of the very strong cast, Vincent Crowley, Alisdair Macindoe, Nathan O’Keefe, Larissa McGowan, Stephen Sheehan, Jo Stone and John Romao. Standout performances, however, come from O’Keefe (as usual) as a rather unusual musician, and Macindoe (as the groom) demonstrating his superb expertise in dance and movement.

Skilfully directed by Paulo Castro, with a top-notch production team, including Adelaide’s own Ben Flett, Blackout deserves to be seen, but do not panic if you don’t understand it completely.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey

Venue: AC Arts Main Theatre  39 Light Square Adelaide
Season: 3 – 9 March 2014
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Tickets: $25.00 – $39.00
Bookings: Book through BASS online or phone 131 246


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