A modern Australian drama
Reviewed at the Noel Lothian Hall, Adelaide Botanic Gardens on 3 March
Presented by Cabbages and Kings Collective
Cabbages and Kings Collective is a South Australian company that made the daring choice during the Adelaide Fringe to stage a modern Australian drama. Tinged with real world commentary on relatable topics, a world weary audience occasionally wants some relief from the difficulties of life and wishes for simple entertainment. The ensemble took a punt on the exact opposite and it paid off spectacularly.
Six people take off to the north of Western Australia where they’ll be having a weekend camping trip over the new-year. Friends brought together, they are looking forward to a hidden spot by a creek in the bush so they can relax and have some fun. They make camp, and the adventure of the weekend away settles in. After a spate of oppressive heat and the ensuing disorientation of a violent dust storm, the crew run into the creek to wash off and enjoy the moment although their fun is cut short in a way few of them were expecting in a place as remote as they were. While naked and splashing about in the water they are approached by a furious stranger. Perhaps it is the weather or maybe the environment but the resulting events following their confrontation are powerful and in a society conflicted on how we should be addressing indigenous affairs, dangerously close to home.
Cleverly staged, the actors sit and stand on a number of boxes that are used to build a tiered stage that they construct and dismantle depending on the circumstances of the story. It is a practical method and it allows for the different stages of the show, whether it be car travel, personal or group moments to be clear and easily seen by the audience.
The script is quick, bouncing between the different characters as their comments, interjections and repartee propel the story without the regularly clipped lines running into each other. At no point does the script come across as cumbersome or difficult to the actors who are clearly well versed in its language and tempo. Above all, the entire ensemble nail the crucial story telling element of this demanding performance. All the actors were unquestionably believable in their performances and throughout the show there were no awkward or dead moments, nor do any of the actors pull the team down. This is a tight, provocative, well-acted and well-staged production. All credit to this young and skilled group of people.
Reviewed by Simon Lancione
Venue: Noel Lothian Hall at Noel Lothian Hall – Adelaide Botanic Garden
Season: 9-11, 16,17 March 2019
Duration: 70 mins
Tickets: FP $26, C $22, Bank SA $20, Yep $13, Pass Holder $15