Canberra Youth Theatre
Gorman Arts Centre to 20 October
Reviewed by Len Power 18 October 2018
Canberra Youth Theatre’s latest production takes place outdoors in the Gorman Arts Centre courtyard.
‘Faster’ refers to the increasing momentum of change that teenagers are subjected to in this day and age in the journey to adulthood. It’s a troubling journey made all the more problematic when teenagers feel they are under the spotlight and being observed and judged every step of the way.
Devised by the group of enthusiastic performers aged 14 to 17 years with co-directors Emily Sheehan and Kyle Walmsley, it’s a high energy production in which the drama emerges mainly through movement. There are no individual characters, given the theme of the show, making it difficult to feel much involvement with the issues raised. It almost seemed like the group were in a soulless prison environment with orders being barked at them from an unseen authority. The frequent repetition sequences added to a sense of distance from the experience. The underlying theme of the production was obscured by this form of presentation.
The show has a good atmosphere due to a well thought out lighting design by Emerging Lighting Designer, Ethan Hamill, and another of Kimmo Vernonnen’s clever sound designs.
The wisteria, blooming around the courtyard, was giving out a strong scent and the courtyard’s large tree looked beautiful with the light spilling from the production. The changing colours of the sky at sunset gave the show a glorious backdrop, too.
The limited seating consisted of some chairs, stools, bean bags and cushions. That’s fine if you’re as young as the cast but potential torture for older, less flexible people. There was a bit of a scramble by audience members to get something to sit on. Luckily, the show had a short running time.
Rehearsal photo supplied by the company.
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.