Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: One Day He Changed (and the next he was gone)

It’s always exciting to see new works being performed, especially ones written by young South Australians.

3.5

Presented by SAYarts
Reviewed 5 March 2020

SAYarts works with young people to develop entirely new works, mentoring the young people through script-writing, direction, and performance. It’s always exciting to see new works being performed.

The award-winning Sophia Simmons’ script of One Day He Changed (and the next he was gone) is a poignant look at how our own mindsets shape our perspective of others, and questions how well we truly know those around us. Colin, a high school misfit and a bit of a loner, has disappeared. Detective Mordecai, with his assistant, Smith, seeks to uncover the truth, but who knew Colin? Did anyone really know him?

The show cleverly uses different actors to portray each version of Colin as told through his school mates’ eyes, showing each person’s different perspective on who Colin was. David Lawton plays a convincing Mordecai, though not as ‘hard-boiled’ as he could have been, considering the film noir advertising for this show. Performances by Emma Gregory (Chad/Mary/Colin 2), Rory Harbisher (Duck) and Ethan Miotti (Thad/the real Colin) also stood out for their convincing characterisations and versatility through their different characters. It will be worth looking out for these young performers in future productions.

Despite the hard work of these young performers and creatives, a few elements of the show did not come across as well. The dance sequence was confusing, with only a tenuous link to the script. Several performers directed all their dialogue directly to the front and lacked the connection to their fellow actors. A few performers mimed their interactions with imaginary items, but their motions lacked clarity and it took time to work out what they were doing.

Apart from a few small imperfections, this show is a creative and thought-provoking piece.

Reviewed by Kristin Stefanoff
Twitter: @StefanoffK

Venue:  RUMPUS
Season:  3 – 7 March
Duration:  60 min
Tickets:  $15 – $30
Bookings:  https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/one-day-he-changed-and-the-next-he-was-gone-af2021

Rating out of 5: 3.5

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