Presented by State Umbrella
Reviewed 25 Oct 2019
Over a number of years, the State Theatre Company has managed the Umbrella program that is designed to engage and support new writers. The latest show to come out is Limit by Sophia Simmons and it’s a real corker.
Two budding astronauts are picked by popular choice to make the much-hyped one-way trip to Mars to establish Earth’s first interplanetary colony. Sara (Rachel Burke) and Mark (James Smith) are both certain in their belief they are ready and able to make the journey despite knowing they will never go home or see their families again. Not having met each other before they begin their nine month journey, the two mid 20’s colonists are placed under unique stress as they learn much about each other and how they conduct themselves in front of dozens of cameras constantly watched by millions of people back on earth.
The complex and contradictory mixture of isolation and an impossibly high level of contact are fighting for dominance in this play. We see the lengths that people are forced to go to as the mental health of the new life partners deteriorates slowly and certainly.
The main philosophical points addressed in this show are whether people are capable of making the journey and if they are, should they do so? The most important thing about this show is that it’s a new ethical topic that while not at the forefront of public discourse, it will play a significant part in the discussion the closer the human species gets to travel to Mars.
Both Smith and Burke are consistently good throughout the show and their chemistry is quite believable. Furthermore, as the relationship deteriorates both react in a physically and emotionally realistic way. They make full use of Kathryn Sproul’s set that was magnificently enhanced by James Osborn’s score and Mark Oakey’s lighting and AV Design. There were notable voice cameos by Rebecca Mayo and Terence Crawford.
Thought provoking, Limit makes the effort to introduce a topic that is timely and critical as the next stage of human exploration begins.
Reviewed by Simon Lancione
Rating out of 5: 4 stars.
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre
Season: Until 9 Nov 2019
Photo credit: Chris Herzfeld