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BWW Review: AWAY at La Boite

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The production runs until the 13th of November

Directed by Daniel Evan's , La Boite Theatre's production of Away was a delicious slice of innovative, magical realism.

BWW Review: AWAY at La Boite

Set in the 1960s, first performed in the 1980s, Away is an Australian classic which tells the story of three stories woven together with an embedded Shakespearean text of A Midsummer Night's Dream and ending with a passage from King Lear. Filled with pop culture references to going away, it's a show about escapism and the simplicity of escaping to the beach. It explores the human condition and themes of love, pain, trauma, loneliness of youth.

Daniel Evans harnesses magical realism is such an innovative way which beautifully serviced the text. These moments included the use of choreographed movement and physical theatre sequences to add more dynamism to the story. This moments had a striking balance of being humourous and adding joy to heavy scenes such as the park committee skit as well as the storm sequence which seamlessly layered together all the different family's stories and conflicts into a sensory powerhouse of feelings.

Another gorgeous use of symbolism was the wreath that hung from the top of the stage representing a Christmas wreath, a crown of thorns and loss of innocence. A striking moment in the show was when actor Bryan Proberts was standing underneath the wreath as it descended over his head, dropping petals of flowers and cleansing him of the trauma inside his own heart and family. Designed by Sarah Winter, the roundhouse stage was transformed into a multitude of places including a moonlit beach, the swamps of Vietnam, a bougey Gold Coast resort and a caravan park.

BWW Review: AWAY at La Boite

The actors all embodied the spirit of living in the late sixties in Australia and the kaleidoscope of divergent life experiences it entailed. Christen O'Leary brought such vulnerability and pain to a grieving mother who hadn't yet been given time to morn and Bryan Probets wore a bikini and said some truly horrible jokes yet still managed to jump straight back into the headspace of a principal who had decided to close off the world and live in denial. Emily Burton and Ngoc Phan breathed such nuance into their respective mother roles, who both on the surface appeared to be polar opposites but in reality, they just showed how they cared about their family in drastically different ways.

La Boite Theatre Company's Away will literally take you away on a holiday that you'll never forget filled with joy, heartbreak and above all, hope and connection. And that my friends, is the power of live theatre.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy


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