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BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run.

THE LINDEN SOLUTION

BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run.

Saturday 29th May 2021, 7:30pm KXT Kings Cross Theatre

THE LINDEN SOLUTION shines a shocking spotlight on the dangers of complacency as extreme right-wing ideals bubble dangerously beneath the surface of society and history threatens to repeat itself. While Alexander Lee-Rekers' new play is a work of fiction, its origins are grounded in analysis of historical events, from dictatorial rulers of the past to more recent events where mob rule has resulted in democracy being challenged around the world.

BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run. The Linden of the title refers to a fictional Victorian town with questionable claims to fame including being on route to the goldfields during the 19th century gold rush, and a century later discovering their soils held mineral compositions that were sought after by horticulturalists and gardeners. In the 21st century Linden is now floundering due to an inability to grow sustainable crops due to fierce southern winds, large corporations taking over the soil sale operations and the general apathy of a town that lacks direction, hope and even the drive to get up for an ANZAC Day dawn service at dawn. The solution is mayoral assistant Hannah's (Laura Djanegara) proposal to create actual change for the town following former Mayor Gladys' (Lib Campbell) horror at her citizens reaction to war veteran Gus' (Patrick Cullen) car accident during the ANZAC DAY commemorations. However hopeful and positive Hannah's vision first seems the manifesto which she titles "The Linden Solution" has more dangerous undertones which Hannah and her university friend Dan (Mason Phoumirath) choose to ignore as they set up a mayoral candidate that will champion The Linden Solution. BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run. Under Camilla Turnbull's direction, THE LINDEN SOLUTION is a cleverly crafted piece of theatre that makes the work feel like a true story with Brechtian openness about the creative process behind the production that had to take current day factors like restrictions on group singing and biohazard risks into account. Turnbull utilizes the small cast of 4 well with all but Djanegara doubling characters with clarity reinforced by Tess Burg's simple but effective costume changes. Similarly, Burg keeps the set simple with a raised marbled catwalk running down the traverse stage. Cameron Smith's video design of 'archive' footage reinforces the impression that the work is a true story while Sophie Pekbilimli's lighting design helps shift the work from Hannah's recollections and reenactments to the voice recordings and video reels. BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run. This work is powerful in its ability to present a work that forces the audience to consider how history repeats itself with alarming consistency as people become apathetic and complacent about having any ability to stand up for their rights and instead follow the most charismatic voice of leadership regardless of the underlying message. A scene where Hannah is sharing The Linden Solution is likened to major political speeches that have influenced history via the archive footage, a list that also includes Hitler's rally speeches reinforcing the message that while a leader may be charismatic and technically a 'good' leader, their intentions may not be as altruistic but their audience has gotten swept up in their showmanship. BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run. Djanegara presents a captivating performance of the young political staffer presenting her story for the audience to make their own judgment of her actions and the outcomes. Phoumirath presents a range of amusing minor characters, including imagining the tall man as a nervous 4th grader, but his presentation of the socially awkward Dan is perfect in its combination of distanced observation of the events as he records everything and his moments of wisdom. Patrick Cullen's presentation of the two political leaders, Gus the war veteran and unlikely mayor selected by Hannah and oily and dangerous out of towner Aaron, presents two sides of the political scale, from someone not sure why he's in politics and not really wanting to be there to the other that sees Linden's situation as an opportunity for his own gain. Presenting a range of the more minor roles, Lib Campbell adds a high degree of comedy relief in her exaggerated expressions of various townsfolk from the enthusiastic woman who discovered the quality of the soil to the Mayor styled after Julia Gillard who wants more for her town but ends up feeling defeated. BWW REVIEW: THE LINDEN SOLUTION Highlights The Dangers Of An Apathetic Society Content To Watch As Others Takeover How Their Societies Are Run. THE LINDEN SOLUTION is a thought-provoking piece of theatre that should be seen by anyone, particularly those that have previously been apathetic about the way their communities and countries are run. It is a reminder that we need to be engaged and alert to potentially extreme views hijacking political policy along with reinforcing the importance of remembering history and learning from it so that the bad things of the past are not repeated.

http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/linden-solution

Photos: Clare Hawley


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