12/02/2010 - 14/02/2010
Do you know what your children are up to?
The desperate need to belong, to be part of something greater than ourselves, is powerful force. ‘Brewing’ takes you into the lives of five teenagers caught up in a world they don’t understand and shows them a side of themselves they didn’t know existed.
The dark arts have often appealed to young people who are looking for a place to belong, looking for a sense of power in a world where they often feel powerless. Anton, Izzy, Rach, Claire and Kane are no different. During a silly game one night they unleash a darkness upon the group that will take them places they never expected to go.
An original Mad World Productions show, ‘Brewing’ looks at the innocence of evil, how easy it is to get caught up in something bigger than yourself and ultimately to lose yourself within in it.
12, 13 and 14 of February
St Peter’s Hall Paekakariki.
Naively dabbling in the spirit world
Review by Yolande Brophy 13th Feb 2010
We know what they did this summer! A festering fever of raw young talent, there is little problem with the fermentation process other than allowing it to mature into full ripeness. Steeped in youthful energy and enthusiasm, Brewing has some great ingredients but remains slightly underdone.
The concoction of a group of school leavers who last year offered the Fringe ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ as Year 13 Kapiti College students, Brewing is even more minimalist and without any real budget. The self-motivated quintet wrote and performed the play, which rapidly develops a tension that remains the under and over current of an hour-long journey, rushing headlong to an abrupt end. And they have pulled off a production full of promise.
The age-old problem of how to alleviate boredom takes these teenagers down a path in which ‘innocent’ fun descends into fear and desperation.
From the moment the glass on the ouija board moves, my recollections of similar games played as a teenager place a layer of timelessness over the story full of angsty authenticity and the cringe factor of naively dabbling in the spirit world. It is also a pertinent reminder for those of us with teens to remain engaged with their lives, however hard they try to fob us off with placating responses to simple questions.
Interestingly, although the idea of contacting spirits comes from the ‘girly swot’ Izzy, played by Robyn Mathie with a perfect amount of frustrating superiority, it is Cody Packer’s intensely angry Anton and then Shaun Allen’s loveable larrikin Kane who seem to fall under the spell. Could it be that the male mind is more malleable or is there something else going on?
Essentially the performances are strong, although tighter direction and stagecraft would have stepped up the overall quality of the production. The tremendous tension of the piece is dissipated by the over-long scene changes; sequences containing simultaneous conversations quickly descend into an inaudible cacophony. Unfortunately the final scene is one of the latter, leaving us more confused than enlightened as to what has actually happened.
And despite a front row seat I had to strain to catch most of Michelle Walsh’s dialogue. As the insecure Rach, she demurs with just the right level of timidity but needs to remember she is playing to a hall, not a living room. At times too Hen Priestley’s dependable and serious Claire has difficulty being heard although much of the strength of her performance is in what is not said.
Having shown they have more in them than a single production, these actor/writers are proof of a bright looking future for Greater Wellington Theatre.
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