Dawn King – Directed by Luke Rogers
design by Ethan Hammill – Sound designer and composer – Patrick Haesler
Theatre Centre Courtyard Studio: 19 -28 May 2023.
on May 24th reviewed by BILL
|The Jurors come to a verdict
For those in the audience of a certain age, “The Trails”, is uncomfortable viewing. Dawn King’s sobering imagining of a dystopian future in which the younger generation cull their elders in order to survive themselves has enjoyed great success overseas.
This production by the Canberra Youth Theatre is its Australian
takes the form of a series of trials which are meant to take place over a period of two weeks. A jury of twelve young people is
tasked with having to decide the fates of older adults who have been called
before it to justify their treatment of the planet, in an effort to avoid
After listening to each defendant, the jury will
then have to decide who, if any, will escape the death sentence.
The jurors are played by Edith Baggoley, Imogen Bigsby-Chamberlin, Genevieve Bradley, Alexi Clark Mitchell, Kat Dunkerley, Matthew Hogan, Joshua James, Aadhya Karthik, Sebastian Leigh, Tara Saxena, Phoebe Silberman and Jacqueline Tatam.
With the audience arranged on either side of the playing area, and the jury members at either end, the first three victims, played by Michael Sparks, Zsuzsi Soboslay and Elaine Noon, are ushered in by a mysterious faceless figure, one by one.
After each has presented their monologue they are dismissed without being questioned, and the jurors then argue the merits or otherwise of each victim’s case.
However as the jurors begin to examine each
victim’s arguments, their own individual motives and ethics come under
question, and deep divisions begin to appear.
|Matthew Hogan - Tara Saxena - Alexi Clark Mitchell - Phoebe Silberman and Jacqueline Tatum
deliberate in Canberra Youth Theatre's production of "The Trial".
this play is very much an ensemble play in which the twelve young actors are on
stage for the entire presentation. It is presented without interval with the
audience seated either side. There is nowhere to hide. That the entire cast was able to maintain
concentration and character throughout was admirable.
Luke Rogers has produced a compelling production of an important play that raises many uncomfortable questions about humanity and survival.
Images by Ben Appleton - Photox.
This review is also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au