Photos – Mose Photography
The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You by Irish born Australian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, is a powerful reflection on the modern teenage psyche. The action of the play centres on Connor, a teenage boy who is recently being annoyed by everything around him. Everyone in his life has started to treat him differently, nothing is as interesting as it used to be, and he can’t understand why everything is suddenly changing… as a result of all of these unwanted, and inexplicable, changes, Connor has been getting really angry. In some ways this play is a coming of age story, in other ways it is a social commentary, and in yet other ways, it is a little bit like an in joke… between just about anyone over the age of twenty.
Hand in Hand Theatre’s current season of The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You, directed by Justin Crossley, is a very stylistically impressive production. Crossley has managed to do a great deal with very little in this production, from casting through to lighting, and everything in between. If I were to draw fault anywhere with Crossley, it would be with his apparent failure to complete a grammar check on his director’s note… This says more about his talent as a director than it does about his grammatical transgressions.
The acting cast for this production all do a superb job. Aside from Bradley Clarke, in the role of Connor, and Karen Hansord, in the role of Lotte, all of the actors play multiple characters, often switching roles in quick succession. The role switching was for the most part very clean, and rather effective. Particular praise must go out on this note to Grace Pusey, who not only managed to fill out two distinct characters in a short span of time, but who did so, so successfully, that I didn’t realise that the doubling had occurred until I consulted the programme. Clarke’s portrayal of the teenaged Connor really does evoke attitudes towards the character that only an actor could be proud of, and Hansord brings a realism to her role which leaves you unable to resist emotionally investing in her.
Crossley’s set is really very simple, relying in manoeuvrable items for rapidly changing scenes and settings. Achieving a smooth transition between each scene is the hinge upon which the plays energy depends. Crossley evidently realised as much, and the flow of the action rarely stops moving forward at any point throughout the play. The synchronicity of the sound effects, designed by Corina Brown and Aiden Willoughby, are utterly on point from the beginning to the end. Poor synchronicity is a common occurrence in live theatre, and it is one of my personal pet peeves. Crossley and his sound team are to be congratulated on the fact that they really managed to get their soundscape to a professional standard.
This production really is a wonderful theatrical experience. I would highly recommend that theatre goers attend this incredibly short season of a brilliant production of what is an excellent play.
Hand In Hand Theatre presents
The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You
by Finegan Kruckemeyer
Director Justin Crossley
Venue: Studio 411 (Murdoch University)
Dates: 1 – 3 September 2016
Tickets: $15 – $10