Theatre Review: Gorgon

When a teenager dies, the impact on friends and family can be traumatic. An emotional cocktail of anger, guilt, loss, love and resentment that they haven’t worked out how to begin processing.

Presented By: State Theatre Company
Reviewed 3 May 2016

When we are teenagers we feel invincible. Intoxicated with the excitement of all the possibilities that life might have to offer and overflowing with hormones and complex emotions that we are not quite sure how to deal with yet.

When a teenager dies, the impact on his friends and siblings can be especially traumatic. An emotional cocktail of anger, guilt, loss, love and resentment that they haven’t worked out how to even begin processing.

Gorgon, written by Elena Carapetis and ably directed by Nescha Jelk, is targeted at senior secondary students and it’s engagement and messages hit the target perfectly.

When Lee loses his best mate Maz on what should be an epic night out, he also loses his ability to cope with life. Maz also leaves behind a twin sister, Lola, his spitting image who has her own unique challenges adjusting.

Covering a number of topics that are highly relevant to all teenagers, Carapetis beautifully captures that time when your parents treat you like a child and yet expect you to behave like an adult, the time when even the small decisions you make can take your life in many different directions.

Act one is sharp and witty with Chiara Gabrielli as Maz and James Smith as Lee. The pair are hilarious and their characters feel authentic and relevant. Things get a little more serious in Act two as the mood changes dramatically and Gabrelli takes on the role of the twin Lola.

Designer Kathryn Sproul’s use of a projector in the first half of the play is particularly effective, enabling the action to take place with minimal set and completely avoiding any scene changes.

Commissioned by the State Theatre Company as part of their Education Program, though this production is targeted at teenagers this play has a very broad appeal. Gorgon is great story telling and expertly packs plenty of information, emotion and energy into just 60 minutes.

Reviewed by Ceri Horner
Twitter: @CeriHorner

Venue: Space Theatre
Season: 3 – 76 May
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $20-$38


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