Theatre Review: Terrestrial


Presented by State Theatre Company South Australia
Reviewed 25 May 2018

A pair of teenage friends attempt to live in the reality of their small country town disintegrating around them in an uncertain journey between reality and fantasy.

Young Liddy and her mum move to the small country town of Leigh Creek in search of relief and escape, but find the town collapsing around them due to the impending closure of the local mine (the town’s main support system). Liddy befriends Badar, a witty and enthusiastic fifteen-year-old similar to herself who shows her around the many abandoned houses and empty streets as well as taking her stargazing in the stunning dark outback sky. The pair become best friends, but when Badar disappears Liddy must re-visit the fateful night in an attempt to separate fiction from reality and discover what happened to her best friend.

Award-winning Australian playwright, Fleur Kilpatrick, not only addresses themes of teenage hope and imagination alongside domestic family issues, but also the horrendous state of country towns and their communities which are collapsing at an alarming rate throughout Australia. It is emotionally enlightening to witness a contemporary news story being played out on stage as a personalised drama.

Patrick Jhanur is completely convincing as the curious and energetic Badar; a young country boy who is so excited to have found a new friend in Liddy. Jhanur completely embraces his role, providing the audience with many laughs that contrast with his more serious and emotional moments regarding his family and town’s dubious future.

Although eclipsed by Jhanur, lead actress, Annabel Matheson, still provides the audience with a passionate performance as the cynical and stubborn teenager, Liddy, who just wants to escape her nomadic broken family. Matheson revels in the more emotional scenes, especially when communicating with those who she believes can take her far away from her life on earth.

The set is an ingenious construction that, as a single wall, captures diverse scenes of the barren country landscape, town buildings, a police interrogation room as well as the brilliant, star-filled night sky.

Is there really something else out there in the universe? Or are we so afraid of being alone that we turn to something imaginative to make us feel like everything will be ok? Terrestrial questions reality as teenager Liddy mentally and emotionally struggles with her damaged family life and the dramatic implications it has on her life and those around her.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Twitter: @Georgie_xox

Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Drive, Adelaide, 5000
Season: 23 May – 2 June
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $30 -$66



About Author

Georgina is a Media student majoring in journalism at the University of Adelaide, and has a keen interest in the arts, culture, fashion, food and people. She hopes her passion and enthusiasm about the Adelaide scene will influence others to make the most of what Adelaide has to offer!

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