[Theatre/Performance ~ World Premiere ~ SA]
The Arch at Holden Street Theatres, Tue 2 Mar.
In this age of cyber bullying there is still a vital, visceral role for such excellent drama as this is. The bullying tackled by this bright, young ensemble is relevant to any time and space. Verbal put-downs and being excluded, banished or exiled from a group are the most insidious types of bullying.
The role of a narrator is necessary, since they have the extremely challenging task of cramming into an hour the whole of Jackie French’s iconic Australian novel of the same name. Although at first the description of another character’s emotions seems to go against the theatrical dictum ‘show, don’t tell’, silence can also be a potent form of bullying.
We are rapidly drawn into the sinister, spiralling plot of a true thriller. The audience was so intent you could have heard a test tube drop – and it did! We weave through teenage horror tropes and watch the biggest boy in school brought down and broken to the point of desperation by the power of peer pressure.
Tight direction, crisp, neatly nuanced dialogue, and diction is well paced, pitched and delivered – often young people have a tendency to speak too fast. The bullies do a superb job, as do all the supporting cast with strong performances all round. Touches of laughable humour lighten this serious theme.
The play needs to be mandatory in every school. It’s a must see, and please make sure you bring your kids, their cousins and their friends. I’ve no doubt extra shows will be needed to accommodate the following they deserve. We welcome this brave new band of sisters and brothers to the stage.
Dark Wind Blowing: The Play continues at Holden Street Theatres from 6.30pm until Sun 7 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.