Intersection | Review

Young talent is pushed to the centre in Katrina Douglas's 'Intersection'

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Photo credit: Tracey Schramm

Words || Cameron Colwell (ed. Angus Dalton)

 

Intersection is a unique theatre production currently run by the Australian Theatre For Young People. Ten writers, each of them emerging, have crafted ten different stories, each of them featuring a cast of 17-year-old characters, each of whom live in the same town. Also linking the stories is a keen sense of earnestness and youthful authenticity. While the stories vary greatly in subject, a coherent tone runs through them all, a quality attributable to the strength of the director, Katrina Douglas.

It is interesting to compare this work to similar stories (or, more accurately, sets of stories) in other mediums that’ve been created by middle-aged adults rather than the younger ones who have crafted this. Intersection seems more diverse, much more provocative, and more political than these. Highlights include the incredibly funny and cleverly performed ‘Pray 4 Mojo’, about two outsiders who come to discover they share a hiding spot, and ‘Blueberry Play’, a vividly written monologue about a father’s mental illness performed by a woman who has just left a party, dressed as a blueberry — “Like Violet Beauregarde, but sluttier.” While the costume could’ve killed off any seriousness, the strength of Esther Randles’ performance keeps it grounded, producing one of the most moving stories of the play. It is tender, but unafraid to discomfort. The tone of the show is established in the opening vignette, Zoe Ridgeway’s ‘The Track and the Church’, in which two friends share a joint and have a discussion on the implications of ageing. It is funny, sensitive, and lightly existential, a subtlety conveyed well by its actors, Jackson Williams and Hudson Musty.

As to be expected in a production with this much variety, not all of the plays shine as much as the others — some of the sequencing within the dialogue seems illogical or repetitive — but overall Intersection is a deeply satisfying production, and a satisfying glimpse at things to come from these young artists.

It is very easy to be cynical about the apparently bleak future for the arts within this country, considering the current state of public funding. However, works like this offer hope. In times of low arts funding (or, lower than the abysmal modern standard) one of the effects is the pushing out of works featuring minorities and also young people, so it is refreshing to see a production which centres both, without ever feeling tokenistic or stereotyped. Even the setting (an unnamed town in New South Wales) distinguishes it from much Australian theatre, which (if it is set in this country) tends to have an urban focus. For these reasons, Intersection has much to offer, and is a welcome addition to this city’s theatre.

Event Dates: 1 Feb 2017 — 18 Feb 2017

Event Times: Wed-Sat 7pm, Sun 5pm, Matinee Wed & Fri 11:30am, Live Stream 15 Feb 1pm

Venue: Pier 4/5 Hickson Road ATYP Studio 1, The Wharf, Walsh Bay NSW 2000

Running time: 90 minutes no interval

Ticket Prices: $35.00