Co-directed by Ben Drysdale and Sammy Moynihan. Assistant director Melissa Gryglewski. Sound design Marléné Claudine Radice. A Rebus Theatre and Belco Arts Production, The Theatre. Belconnen Arts Centre. November 4,5 and 12. 2022
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
“They make me so proud.’ co-director Ben Drysdale said to me as I was leaving Belconnen Theatre after the opening night of Rebus Theatre’s Utopiate. And so he should be. If the aim of theatre is to make a difference and bring about change, then Rebus Theatre is its standard bearer. Drysdale and co-director Sammy Moyniham have worked for months with a cast of mixed ability to create a show that is both funny and insightful with considerable appeal by a cast and crew who possess the ability to see the world through a different lens. Utopiate is a work that compels an audience to see the world differently. It invites an audience to discover new possibilities and make choices that open the way to positive change.slant on the Utopian concept. Utopiate is a pain free planetary opiate where Grand Master Thorax Mansion (Sam Floyd) has invited the suffering Earthlings to leave their mundane world of repetitive routine and painful ailments for the stress free world of Utopiate. In a sales pitch reminiscent of television marketing four Earthlings are invited to leave Earth and discover true happiness and pain free heaven on Thorax’s Paradise. Here with the aid of his minions Mars Bar (Megumi Kawada), Purple Raindrop (Zoe Trevorrow), and Silver Star (Stephen Perkins) Thorax can cure the aches and pains that plague Tom (Josh Rose), the stress that bedevils Environmentalist Elsa Whitney (Carol-Jayne ‘CJ” McManus), the invading thoughts of Gestalt Therapist Crystal Hart (Leanne Shutt) and Depressive Mitchell King (Edward ‘Woody’ Menzies).
|Sam Floyd as Thorax Mansion in Utopiate|
If you have never seen a Rebus Theatre production and of course if you have then Utopiate is must see theatre, not because this hour long satire will satisfy conventional expectation but because it alters one’s perception of our world and how we confront life’s challenges and experience. Utopiate is comical and serious, heart-warming and entertaining. And a show of which Rebus Theatre can be truly proud.
Photos by Andrew Sikorski