[THEATRE ~WORLD PREMIERE ~ SA]
Eliza Hall at Payinthi, Tue 16 Mar.
Prospect Theatre For Young People has again delved into the emotional lives of teenagers, and presented a sensitive and relevant performance that explores how young people cope with change.
Workshopped by the eleven cast members and then written with the director Margaret Stevens, Undertow is set in a beachside holiday town over the course of a week. Local kids cross paths with city kids who have come for their annual family vacation.. Friendships form and friendships are tested, painful truths are learnt and eventually, despite some confusions and hurts, life moves forward and resilience is found.
The performances from the company’s Senior Performance Group are all strong and the dialogue wonderfully natural and believable. There is some swearing included but it is never gratuitous and touches of humour add warmth and spark to the characters. With few props and a stark stage the performers bring their play to life , helping the audience transition from beach scene to café to basketball court without confusion. The excellent selection of songs for the soundtrack also adds relevance and helps younger audience members to identify with the show.
As with previous shows from Prospect Theatre For Young People this production deserves to be showcased to school audiences as the script makes observations about very real situations confronting adolescents – sexuality, parent divorce, melded family set-up, the shifting nature of friendships, romance, suicide and that looming future.
With fewer schools offering drama courses companies like Prospect TFYP are needed more than ever and deserve support. This is not polished theatre but it is authentic and for this reason alone deserves attention.
Undertow concludes its sold out season at Eliza Hall at Payinthi at 7.30pm on Wed 17 Mar.