Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Call Of The Malleefowl

Every element of this production has been carefully planned and extremely well executed.

This thought-provoking production will tug at your heart-strings as it takes you on an emotional roller-coaster ride.

Presented by Bluestocking Theatre Co.
Reviewed 16 March 2021

I need to say this from the outset, Call Of The Malleefowl is a brilliant, thought-provoking piece of new theatre. Every element of this production has been carefully planned and extremely well executed. With the need for more theatre to be written with strong female centred characters, LGBTQIA+ centred stories, and people with disabilities, I applaud Bluestocking Theatre for driving this production with such care.

The story centres around Evelyn (Millie Montgomery), a young autistic woman. Throughout the show Evelyn recalls the events that unfolded over a winter when she met Frankie (Genevieve Venning) and Noah (Robert Baulderstone). These events are recounted to psychiatrist Dr. Fields (Allison Scharber) after a suspicious death. The story slides between the present and the past through clever use of lighting and soundscapes. There is a clear distinction between past and present, and the audience never gets lost.

The script, written by Adelaide playwright Charlie Kay, is exceptional and has been sensitively directed by another South Australian, Lani Gerbi. Gerbi has captured every nuance of Kay’s script perfectly. No stone has been left unturned when it comes to detail in the direction of this show.

The cast is exceptional. Their character work and deep understanding of the script’s intent is excellent. However, it was Montgomery’s portrayal of Evelyn that shone through. Every minute detail was carefully thought through – from simple eye glances, the pulling down of sleeves when met with a situation she was not certain about, slight head tilts – it gave realism to Evelyn and added that extra element that made you connect with her on a deeper level as her story unraveled.

All other elements of this production are met with the same care and consideration. The lighting design by Matt Chapman and Charlie Kay adequately portrays the clinical interview room and warmth of the Australian bush perfectly. Costuming by Abaigh Curry and Don O’Donnell works well and shows a clear understanding of each character’s personalities and situations.

At this time of year where there are so many shows on offer, and so many reviewers telling you to ‘see this show’, Call Of The Malleefowl needs to be at the top of your list. With limited seating left, don’t delay. This is a thought provoking, emotionally driven production that you need to see.

Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff
Twitter: @theartsislife

Venue: Main Stage at Bakehouse Theatre
Season: March 15 – March 20
Duration: 55 Minutes
Tickets: From $20

Rating out of 5: 5



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