'THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN PLAY' THEATRE REVIEW

Lassiter Larrikins and Loot

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Australians seem to relish using the word “Great”. So why not The Great Australian Play – a performance work that draws on other Aussie icons of larrikins, gold and gold miners, as well as the vastness of the Australian outback?


This inspired dramatic piece anchor sits theme amongst these icons weaving a story around the temptations of searching the elusive Lassiter’s gold in an unforgiving desert environment. As the tale unfolds, five intrepid souls (past and present) venture forth in search of either the fabled cache of unimaginable wealth found at Lasseter’s Reef or creative inspiration from that tale.


However, the piece is not just a recreation of the usual theme of dreamers searching for unattainable, it serves to reflect on the demise of the creative arts communities where government have assigned the Arts to the “not important basket”


Note from writer: In 2020, the “Arts” have been subsumed into the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Communications.


In this play, Ho has expanded artfully upon his favourite themes of time and landscape captured in his award-winning play Mirrors Edge taking his audience on another trip across time and place.


The actors glide effortlessly between the past and the present as they try to find that elusive “edge” that would enhance their creative endeavours. Some neat theatrical tricks, like the mock interview with the playwright and the gameshow style brainstorming, serve to energise the play. Yet, some of the scenes can be confronting, grounding the production and taking the audiences’ focus away from the more comedic aspects of the play.


Produced by Imogen Gardam and under the direction of Saro Lusty-Cavallari, a collection of archetypal Aussie characters, played variously by Tamara Bailey, Sermsah Bin Saad, and Jessa Koncic appear on stage as searchers with dreams of wealth that descend into unimaginable nightmares.


Rating: 4/5


DETAILS

Dates: 19 - 29 February 2020

Location: Theatre Works - 14 Acland Street, St Kilda

Times: Nightly at 7.30 pm, Sunday 23rd; 5:00pm

Duration: 120 Minutes (20min Interval)

Prices: $20

Phone: (03) 9534 3388

TheatreWorks Website


Warnings: Adult Themes | Coarse Language | Sexual References | Smoke & Haze Effects | Loud Noises | Strobe Effects