Between Us (Sydney – Australian Theatre For Young People)

Review by Shannyn Warren

The audience is thrust into a dark room looking at a television, spun around via flashes of light and beckoned into rooms deeper inside a labyrinth of secrets as dark as the rooms at the wharf theatre – and just between us – it’s wonderfully exciting.

The production sees eleven monologues created by a group of talented folk under 25 and performed by some promising adolescents. It’s about coming of age, leaving the innocence of childhood behind, and mostly – how secrets, above all else, are what seem to make us grow up.

One of the most poignant aspects of the play is perhaps the setting, designed by Melanie Liertz. The audience is consistently moved around an obscure curtained space via subtle stage manoeuvres or hints from the actors. Liertz’ set works remarkably well in making us feel uncomfortably involved in the messiness of other peoples business. The way the audience is positioned with the actors means that we are painstakingly present, and even sometimes in the way. It acts as a constant reminder that secrets are ever present and in our faces – even if they are the secrets of others – and are not something we can escape or move away from.

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