Blue Christmas features two new Australian plays by award-winning playwrights Katy Warner and Gretel Vella.
The first play, Good People by Katy Warner, has an all-female cast playing long-term friends on a holiday in a foreign country who have had to leave their hotel abruptly and are stuck at the airport. They are waiting and have been for some time. To fill in the time they go through their yoga exercises, drink ‘dreadful coffee’ and talk about home and friendship. As time moves on the conversations between the women weave back and forth through present, past and future plans. Rivalries begin to surface and anxieties begin to take over. We learn that they have witnessed something terrible and that there are men with machine guns everywhere. They are dealing with the guilt of having done too little too late to help those in trouble and now must make the decision to stay or leave.
The tiny Kings Cross Theatre is just perfect for such an intimate performance. A very well-written play too. The production just needed to be better paced and the tension needed to build in order for the gravity of the situation to be believable. At times the performance was too conversational and looked like an acting class in progress.
The second play Shandy’s Corner deals with issues faced in a women’s refuge.
Greta Vella takes on a raw and edgy topic and treats it with sensitivity and kindness. Rather than dwelling on the pain she has chosen to write a play that is able to break through the inner anguish and social isolation that women in homeless shelters have to deal with every day. Vella focuses instead on the solidarity of women helping each other to help themselves.
Well-directed by Lucy Clement with a strong ensemble cast and a stand out performance from Zoe Jensen.
Until Dec 22. Kings Cross Theatre, Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel, 244-248 William St, Kings Cross. $20-$32+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.kingsxtheatre.com
Reviewed by Renee Louise Dallow