Review / Startling play that tests its audience

Theatre / “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again”.  By Alice Birch, directed by Karla Conway. At The Street Theatre to December 1. Reviewed by LEN POWER

Bronte Forrester and Damon Baudin in “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again”.

WINNER of the British George Devine award in 2014, “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again” is a startling work that defies normal theatrical expectations.  

Writer, Alice Birch, says that “the play should not be well-behaved”.

Performed without a break in four discrete acts, the play looks at current and past conventions about sex, work, ageing, love and motherhood in a way that uses a heightened language and performance style to show how we behave towards each other currently and how we might be able to do it better.

Bronte Forrester (on table), Hiyab Kerr, and Hayden Splitt in “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again”.

It’s challenging, intense, funny, confronting and exciting theatre. It has the potential to polarise audiences.

Director, Karla Conway, has obtained very strong, committed performances from her ensemble cast of six – the 2018 Street Company of young actors at the start of their professional careers.

Damon Baudin, Bronte Forrester, Ash Hamilton-Smith, Hiyab Kerr, Hayden Splitt and Anneka van der Velde are uniformly excellent in a play that demands a high level of language and physical acting skills as well as split-second timing.

Hiyab Kerr in “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again”.

Conceived by the director and Sam Pickering and realised by Imogen Keen, the simple but effective set in the Street Two performance space has been configured to provide an “in-the-round” experience that works very well.

The lighting design by Jed Buchanan is well done and some subtle effects, including lighting under some of the audience seats and smoke effects above the acting area, add much to the atmosphere. Sound design by Kimmo Vennonen gives an interesting haunting dimension to the show.

This is a fascinating but demanding theatre work that has been given a fine production with excellent performances.

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