Arts & Entertainment


Dark Vanilla Jungle_Mad March Theatre

Production Stills

Confronting theatre with nowhere to hide, Mad March Hare Theatre Company’s production of Dark Vanilla Jungle makes its return after a critically acclaimed run at the Sydney Fringe Festival.

Claudia Barrie provides an achingly brilliant performance in this one-hander, as she gradually unravels the troubled story of a young woman desperately in search of love and protection who is continually abused and abandoned by everyone who is meant to take care of her.

This is the second play by UK playwright Philip Ridley that Mad March has produced this year. “What draws me to his writing is his ability to portray these dark worlds, but at the same time do it in a very poetic way with incredible imagery,” said Barrie. “When I read Dark Vanilla Jungle I was incredibly moved by it as a woman.”

“It’s told from the point of view of a young girl, which makes it quite difficult to watch I suppose, because of the naivety in which she discusses things… the people that are abusing her, she looks at them with complete love and admiration,” explained Barrie.

Dark Vanilla Jungle fearlessly confronts issues of violence against women and the sexual grooming of young girls head-on. The rough and edgy aesthetic of the Old 505 Theatre space is fitting for this gritty story. The confronting subject manner is heightened as the audience close in around a small cubicle where the young woman is contained, their faces barely a metre away from hers.

“It’s a weird thing to say but I enjoy telling this story,” explained Barrie. “It’s not all devastation, there’s a lot of lighter moments, a lot of comedy in it. It ranges [and] goes through a whole world of themes very quickly…” (AM)

Oct 5–10. Old 505 Theatre, 505/342 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills. $28-$32. Tickets & info:


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