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BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions.

SUPERHEROES

BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions.

Thursday 1st October 2020, 7pm, Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

The need for a return to taking personal responsibility is reinforced in the world premiere of Mark Rogers' SUPERHEROES. Making her directorial debut, Shari Sebbens leads this twin-set of tales from opposite sides of the world to create a captivating expression of ordinary women challenged to be better.

BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions. Mark Rogers has drawn on the memory of the trial of Croatian Army General Slobodan Praljek where, on live television, the General rejected the guilty verdict delivered by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and swallowed lethal potassium cyanide. He presents an imagining of what it would have been like to be a Croat in an average home in Bosnia Herzegovina watching the events fold out and how it may have affected someone old enough to remember the conflict. This is countered with the thoughts of a young Australian university student who appears disconnected from any concern for the world outside her own needs and desires. The 30 something Jana (Claire Lovering) comes across events that challenge her social responsibility as she returns home to prepare to celebrate the General's demise with her family while the 20 something Emily (Gemma Bird Matheson) is more engrossed in her phone, her own life and her determination that she won't conform to outdated ideas of women in society than showing any care and compassion to her young nephew who idolizes her or her boyfriend who struggles to find a solution to the news she has for him.

BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions. With the added space of transferring Griffin Theatre Company's remaining 2020 season to the larger Reginald Theatre to comply with CovidSafe social distancing requirements, designer Renée Mulder has created a raised stage set back a safe distance from the audience. Segments of a grey stone wall set on the diagonal give vague links to the waterfront at Thirroul and the old town walls of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina while the power of the spoken word transforms the rocks into domestic settings in the audience's imagination. Mulder uses costuming to ensure that Emily is seen as younger and not quite financially set as while she enjoys posting staged 'selfies' she has a somewhat haphazard fashion sense of tube socks and plastic slide slippers and plaid flannelette shirt. Similarly, the older Jana is also expressed as from an average socio-economic , with an assortment of ill-fitting sweaters, cardigans and other layers needed to keep out the looming northern hemisphere winter. BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions. In a world where people are protesting their belief that their comfort outweighs a need to keep the wider community safe, SUPERHEROES holds a very immediate relevance. Both women are challenged to think of someone other than themselves and feel the repercussions of when they choose self over society. Both do well at presenting uncomfortable characters which gradually share qualities that, by generally accepted societal norms, are distasteful in their lack of compassion or awareness, adding to the inner conflict of whether the audience can or should support them. The two stories run parallel with each presenting their recollections direct to the audience. Sebbens' direction ensures that the stories remain clear and separate whilst the performance is intertwined. The presentations ensure that the audience sees the generational difference between the women which further reinforces the universality of the underlying message.

BWW REVIEW: Challenging Ordinary Humans To Do Better, SUPERHEROES Explores The Universal Need To Take Ownership And Responsibility Of Our Actions. Relevant while not being directly linked to the current times SUPERHEROS is a captivating story that has you silently hoping that Jana and Emily would be better humans and wondering if they ever will. If you've been hesitant to return to the theatre, this is worth it and the Griffin Team and Seymour Centre team have created a space that feels safe with distancing in seat allocation and sufficient space in the foyers before the show.

https://griffintheatre.com.au/whats-on/superheroes/

Photos: Prudence Upton


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