Theatre Review: Dry

Dry is a new play, written and directed by Catherine Fitzgerald


Presented by Far & Away Productions and Country Arts SA

Reviewed 17th Nov 2021

Dry is a new play, written and directed by Catherine Fitzgerald. It fittingly premiered in country South Australia before travelling to Hart’s Mill in Port Adelaide for a run in the state capital.

The audience is introduced to sisters Ellen (Caroline Mignone) and Patience (Eileen Darley,) the last stubborn residents of a deserted country town. While Fitzgerald describes Dry as “an absurdist dystopian Western,” its characters and language are evocative of the mid-twentieth century. Ellen and Patience show a fierce and antiquated dedication to their family farm, more important than their next meal or drink of water. Each day they brave harsh sun and thirsty snakes. As tensions rise between the sisters, an escapee from a nearby prison camp collapses on their doorstep (Stephen Tongun.) Prejudice fights with desperation, as the unlikely trio must survive together.

Everything about Dry is bare bone – and benefits from it. A minimal yet picturesque set becomes the family farmstead. Together the small cast spark with chemistry. Music is used sparingly. Each character is defined with a single, evocative monologue throughout the play. Both the direction and cast must be commended. The audience at once sympathise with Darley and Mignone’s sisters while being disgusted by their antics.

Dry has all the makings of a tragedy, though its pithy dialogue and dark humour distracts the viewer along its journey towards an inescapable end. It is creative and desperate, both modern and nostalgic.

Reviewed by Nicola Woolford

Rating out of 5: 4

Venue: Hart’s Mill
Season: 17th – 20th Nov 2021
Duration: 90 mins approx.
Tickets: $20.00 – $42.00
Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=819727&

Photo Credit: Alex Frayne

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