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Running from 18-29 May 2021

A tale of trauma, a tale of hope, a tale of motherhood and a deep study on the human connection. Written by Alice Birch and directed by Catarina Hebbard, the Anatomy of a Suicide paints of portrait of what is like to experience deep mental pain and psychological trauma.


The work tells the story of three generation of women all from a family who suffer from severe mental health issues and suicide. When the lights go up we are introduced to Carol (Elise Grieg) standing in a hospital ward with bandaged wrists, then we meet Anna (Rebecca Alexander) who is a heroin addict and Bonnie (Zoe Houghton) who works as a doctor. These three women's timelines coexist on stage, with Hebbard transforming the New Benner Theatre's stage into three windows that we could peer into any time we liked. Whilst being a bold directorial choice, it was quite overwhelming having constant split focus with the actors talking over the top of each other and trying to connect the dots when it felt like the dots were coming from all directions. It felt like I was solving a Rubix cube with no solution in sight. Thus it was quite a jarring experience but then again, so is depression

Greig, Alexander and Houghton all bring a complex emotional intensity to their respective roles; each having many breaking points through the episodic narrative, each point longer and more intense than the other. All eyes were drawn to Jodie Le Vesconte, who played Jo amongst other roles, and brought such levity to heavy scenes and who I found myself rooting for from the very beginning. Whilst the casting for most parts was excellent, there were some actors that at times were disconnected from their dialogues which made us, the audience, feel quite disconnected to their respective characters in return.

Raymond Miler created a very minimalist and sterile set of hospital rooms, empty houses and unused sofas. It was quite exquisite and complimented the aesthetic and ambiance of the text perfectly. My favourite moment of the show was the final scene. I don't want to spoil it for you but it featured one of the titular characters being embraced by an unknown younger character, which for me, tied the whole show together nicely in a bow.

An Anatomy of A Suicide has a powerful voice. It is confronting, it is visceral and, at its crux, it's very human. It's a looking glass into who we are and the power and intensity of trauma on its victims.

Rating: 4 stars


By Alice Birch | Directed by Catarina Hebbard

Presented by Metro Arts and BC Productions Qld in association with e.g and Big Scary Animal


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