Theatre Review: Welcome the Bright World

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Presented by House of Sand/State Theatre Company of South Australia
Reviewed 21 September 2018

Quantum physics, geo-politics and teen rebellion crash headlong into one another in House of Sand’s Welcome the Bright World, an Umbrella production with the State Theatre Company of South Australia. Stephen Sewell’s 1983 play traffics in big words; big themes; big emotions. This should make for a rousing night at the theatre, and on the whole it succeeds in creating a sense of time and scale. While some elements do fall flat, there is no doubting the style and sophistication of this production.

Welcome the Bright World’s script, despite its two-and-a-half hour run, perhaps aims too hard to arrive at a central truth. There is so much on show that it unfortunately comes across as excessive rather than thoughtful.

On this showing alone, Charles Sanders presents as a shrewd director and artist, picking up on material that can make an audience stir uncomfortably in their seat and delighting in the theatricality of the play. This is embodied on-stage by Terence Crawford’s electrifying Max. Jo Stone is strong and steady beside him as Anat, while Georgia Stanley gives a many-layered performance as Rebekah.

Karla Urizar’s design is excellent, enveloping the natural features of the Queens’ Theatre to conjure up a dingy underground warehouse feel. Mario Spatë’s compositions, though overused in some crucial scenes, are also evocative.

Welcome the Bright World makes great use of its time and space. This is a show with its talent proudly on display, and indicates an impendingly bright future for House of Sand and its creatives.

Reviewed by CJ McLean
Twitter: @cjmclean_

Venue:  Queens’ Theatre
Season:  20 Sep – 6 Oct 2018
Duration:  2.5hrs, inc. 20min interval
Tickets:  Adult $42, Pensioner/Senior/Student/Unemployed $29, Under 30s $25, Secondary Student $25
Bookings:  http://statetheatrecompany.com.au/shows/welcome-the-bright-world/

 

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