Inside Out by Mary Rachel Brown
The subject of Mary Rachel Brown’s play Inside Out, which took out the 2008 Rodney Seaborn Playwright's Award, is mental illness.
A mother and her young adult son share a flat together and have the usual trying relationship. The son is at Arts College and makes a mess of their flat by drawing manically on the floors and walls, aggravating his mum. Their relationship takes a turn for the worse when the son’s behaviour becomes ever stranger, and mum realises that action needs to be taken.
The play is done in an authentic and touching way. It captures the angst of dealing with mental illness and still comes out with a positive outlook; that it can be dealt with, and that sufferers can still lead satisfying lives. A two hander, Tracy Mann was convincing as mum Sue who faced one of her biggest battles, and Lindsay Farris pulled at the heart strings as the young man torn apart by mental illness, yet up for the fight.
Tom Healy’s direction was fast paced and bridged the gaps between scenes well with good use of Kimma Vennonen’s score. Nicholas Higgins lit the actors well, and Imogen Keen’s compact set worked well.
Inside Out plays the Everest Theatre at the Seymour Centre until the 30th May, and then has an extensive touring schedule.