Theatre Review: Maggie Stone

Do we really want to help when we say we do, or do we just do the minimum; enough to allow us to sleep at night?

glam maggie stone
Presented by State Theatre Company SA
Reviewed 12 November 2013

This theatre play is not for the light-hearted! The play is confronting in both an indirect and also a straight forward approach. It is also an amazing play.

Walking in to the fantastic arena that is the Space Theatre, we are immediately captivated by the unusual set design by Victoria Lamb and left wondering what could possibly happen with such a structure.

Playing to a full house, the lights dimmed to reveal a woman at her work desk and a man waiting eagerly to the side. This woman is Maggie Stone (played superbly by Kris McQuade) and the man is an African refugee looking for financial help. The interview proceeds and we go to the next scene.

From here the true story unfolds, forcing us to think about what drives us, what forms our opinions, do we really want to help when we say we do? Do we just do the minimum; enough to allow us to sleep at night? Is there genuine respect for others in our country or are we just going through the motions? These questions and many more are answered in this quality production written by Caleb Lewis and directed by Geordie Brookman.

Essentially there are many issues raised in this play that exist whether we like it or not, and they exist right here in Adelaide and, I would imagine, almost every other city and country. The play shows us true life examples from all sides – being the victim, being the Angel in disguise, and being the instigator of destruction.

The scene changes are a credit to all involved and showed simplicity in it’s true professionalism. My only query is of the sly but constant underlying abuse of the smoke machine that had many of us gagging and coughing, but the scene change music and the quickness of it all were enough to make me forget for a moment. There was also brilliant support from the other five actors and a great use of props.

This is a long and, at times, a difficult production to sit through but only because I was taken on an unexpected and confronting emotional journey that left me questioning my own beliefs while my head was spinning to regain my inner compass. I knew it was going to be interesting when I saw the set design, and I have to say… I was not disappointed.

Reviewed by Brett A Trimboli

Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 8 – 30 November 2013
Duration: 90 minutes, no interval
Tickets: $25 – $65
Bookings: Book at BASS


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