Arts & Entertainment

Review: BLOOD BANK

Tom Stokes, Meredith Penman and Gabrielle Scawthorn. Photo: Clare Hawley

BLOOD BANK is a hauntingly brilliant piece from Ensemble Theatre that will send shivers down your spine, and leave your body covered in goose bumps. As a world premiere, BLOOD BANK certainly delivers, exploring the ever prevalent need for blood donation in today’s society.

Set in a hospital waiting room, the play takes us on a chilling journey of Justin’s last weeks, his fragmented relationship with his brother, Michael, and the metaphorical bond between them, powered by the giving of blood.

Tom Stokes performs the dual role of Michael and Justin exceptionally well, and is perfectly balanced by Gabrielle Scawthorn, who plays the wonderfully mysterious Abbey. Together, the pair create moments of absolute hilarity, in among the incredibly powerful and emotional story at hand.

BLOOD BANK jumps back and forth in time, and is full of puzzling secrets. The play reaches its climax when Abbey finally reveals the role she has played in each brothers life. As BLOOD BANK ventures deeper into the brothers’ psyches, the raw power of emotion is captivating, leaving the audience to feel as if they are watching the drama unfold, from within the waiting room itself.

The story is incredibly eye-opening, asking the audience to re-consider the importance of giving blood. It is the intensity of pure emotion, and tension between characters, that makes BLOOD BANK so mesmerising. (NB)

Until Nov 22. Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli. $30-$69.  Tickets & info: ensemble.com.au

 

BY NYSSA BOOTH

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