Arts & Entertainment


Shari Sebbens & Yure Covich, photo by John Feely

Alice has forgotten how to chew, and, willingly or not, she’s inviting us into her mind to work out why. In here, the world out there we so often take for granted appears radically different.

Capitalising on the disjunct between reality and, well, reality, is the approach director Paige Rattray has adopted in her premiere of surrealist drama Return To Earth, by Australian playwright Lally Katz.

The play explores the return of Alice to her sleepy coastal hometown after a mysterious disappearance of an unspecified length of time. Rattray catalogues Alice’s vastly altered take on her surroundings by staging part of the play within her psyche.

“We’ve been able to push the form,” Rattray says.

“Because we’re not constrained by a realistic setting, we can take really big risks. Every colour and emotion is abstracted and extended.”

Creating different worlds is something Rattray has always been interested in. Katz’s play allows her to imaginatively expose the deeper tensions found within all communities, not just those confined by the shores of this seaside village.

“There is a sense of melancholy underlying this hysterically cheerful family. It is interesting seeing how they work through small town tragedies and by extension what knits families and communities together.” (RM)

Sep 4 -28, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod St, Kings Cross, $28-35, (02) 9361 3817,

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