REVIEW: Riot Stage Presents FOREVER CITY

Sharp wit from young creatives

By Amy Planner

What does the end of the world look like? What will it feel like and what happens after? These are the hot topics that Forever City ferociously explores in this youthful post-dramatic production.

Forever City

Directed by Katrina Cornwall, Forever City follows a group of school leavers who begin to consider life after graduation when yet another plane goes missing and hints of end of the world start to form. The teens start question themselves, their world and life, as they know it, and of course, there’s a dinosaur.

Filled with inner monologues and fraught with cultural angst, this story studies apocalyptic ideas and doesn’t disguise teenage anguish as anything other than what we’re all thinking. There is no doubt this show is funny: there were spurts of laughter, rolling chuckles and an audible snort or two. It is witty, current and unique.

The performers (Ellen Campion, Mieke Dodd, Kes Daniel Doney, Kate Dunn, Yash Jagtani, Daisy Kocher, Alanna Marshall, Marie Mokbel, Amelia Newman and Jack Zapsalisare) a group of ten teenagers from the Moreland area with fresh faces, creative energy and novel story-telling abilities. There were a few stumbles along the way, stirred undoubtedly by nerves and excitement. Some second-guessing of their instincts was evident, but overall these spritely teens have real promise. The refreshing sense comes from the youthfulness of the performers and the fact that they don’t feel the need to be quirky or cunning. Their ingeniousness comes from an innocent place and even surprised the performers themselves at times with an unexpected smirk or two after glorious audience response.

The minimal set by Casey Scott Corless complimented the complexity of the story, as did the great use of lighting (designed by Suze Smith) both on stage and off. A little unbalance between audio levels and vocal projection at times, but the sound design of the show was interesting, pleasantly unusual and darn creative.

Writer Morgan Rose deserves props for her use of current events and cultural phenomenon combined with deep-seeded concerns and comedic elements. The messages the story was trying to send were stimulating but perhaps a little clouded; an unusual and unexpected twist left us unsure of the story’s aim.

Forever City is part of a new wave of contemporary theatre exploration taking current events and local news as the inspiration for a powerful story.

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

Season: 16-19 April 2015, Friday 1pm & 7.30pm, Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 4pm

Tickets: $25 Full, $15 Concession, $15 Group Bookings (10+), $15 School Group


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