Wayne Tunks‘ latest production deals with a twenty something returning to her home town after serving time for starting a fire that caused the death of a local (her best friend). She has come to collect her brother. So begins another Tunks tale. Wayne Tunks is continually coming up with interesting and creative stories and this is another great yarn. Tunks’ trademark wit and comedy is here even though this is one of his more serious plays.
Performances are a bit of a mixed bag with energy, commitment and character grounding often absent along with a lack of chemistry from the three actors caught in the love triangle. A standout was Wayne Tunks playing Tess’ brother who suffers from a mental disorder. He committed completely to this role and generated both laughter and sadness with his portrayal. He brought an energy to the stage that lifted the production. Another standout was Rebecca Clay. Her simmering anger and frustration at life was beautifully crafted and she successfully traversed a difficult transition in the final scenes.
Simeon Yialeloglou‘s direction is straightforward but does not utilise the space to its best. Having the cast pull the drinks bar out from the wall prior to every pub scene was unnecessary. With a huge performance space open and free to work in the pace was slowed unnecessarily. While randomly choosing to have one of those scene changes done in full light while the actor sang along to ‘Flame Trees’ was baffling. A more creative use of the space could have allowed for fast overlapping scenes changes and assisted the driving forward of the story. In addition to this some of the blocking felt a little contrived but this may settle down through the run.
There is a lot to like in Tunks’ latest production and yet again we see a work with massive potential. It is wonderful to see this prolific writer continuing to create.
Lynden Jones – Theatre Now
15 June – 2 July 2016
Wed – Sat 8:00pm
Wayne Tunks’ script is beautifully written with some honest and real dialogue that has you feeling not like you are watching a play but as if eavesdropping on some private conversations.” THEATRE PRESS
Years ago, Tess left her small country town in the back of a police wagon after confessing to lighting the fire that devastated the town and killed her best friend. Now she’s back and most of the townsfolk aren’t exactly happy to see her – least of all her Aunty, her ex-boyfriend and his new fiancé. This is the story of one woman’s fight for redemption.
Over the past sixteen years, Wayne Tunks, has gained a reputation as one of this country’s leading independent theatre dramatists. His work has been performed all over the country, and even internationally.
Director: Simeon Yialeloglou
Director: Ryan Bown, Karina Bracken, Rebecca Clay, Isabel Dickson, Jace Pickard and Wayne Tunks
Costume Design: N/A
Stage Manager: N/A
$27 Group booking discount for groups ten or more.