[THEATRE ~ WORLD PREMIERE ~ SA]
Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre, Mon 15 Mar.
Call of the Mallee Fowl packs a lot into this one hour gem. A slowly blossoming love affair between two friends who meet on a birdwatching bench evolves against a backdrop of delightful bird calls on the one hand, and a psychologist compiling a report into what effectively becomes a murder enquiry on the other.
The autistic Evelyn finds true solace watching birds in their natural habitat and we learn handy little factoids about their appearance and behaviour. Her new friend is rather taken by Evelyn’s love of birds. In an eerily ironic twist given current events around the nation, Frankie finds herself in an abusive relationship with a controlling and violent boyfriend.
The developing relationship between them is gently and delicately teased out and is quite endearing but you sense that at some point reality will make life things harder for Frankie and Evelyn. They can’t stay out with the birds forever.
The regular checking back with the psychiatrist is an effective device for providing wider context and a link with that other reality.
The sudden and dramatic events toward the end of the show are a rude jolt. Complex issues are rushed to a satisfying enough conclusion but it was the sweet tango of two strangers getting slowly enmeshed in each other’s lives that was the highlight for me.
Topical and intriguing writing with good use of metaphor, and strong believable performances from Millie Montgomery and Genevieve Venning make this show well worth seeing.
Call Of The Mallee Fowl continues at Bakehouse Theatre from 6pm until Sat 21 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.