Rio Saki and Other Falling Debris

Rio Saki and Other Falling Debris
By Shaun Charles. Australian Theatre for Young People. Atyp Studio, The Wharf, Walsh Bay. (NSW). Directed by Fraser Corfield. Until September 18.

How would people behave if an asteroid was heading for earth and the planet faced obliteration? This is the prospect facing the characters in Rio Saki and Other Falling Debris.
All are young adults on the cusp of life’s great adventure but have just days to live. Outside there is so much murder and mayhem that emergency services has gone AWOL. All that appears open is the ‘essential service’ of a pub.
It is the type of play that university students love getting their teeth into. There is lesbian pashing, a comic but ultimately tragic attempt at drug use (involving rat poison) and more than the odd flash of flesh.
The play was effectively staged with peeps of light from the impending visitor from outer space creating cubby holes on the stage.
I found it hard, though, to like any of the characters.
The young new lovers Hannie (Lucy Coleman) and Cathy (Elizabeth Gibney) looked the part but didn’t create any on-stage chemistry.
The two flat-mates (Louis) Dashiell Hannoush and Tom (Kyle Hedrick) effectively portrayed the inner city grunge style of the narrative, but I didn’t really care for them.
While bleakest of all were (Charlotte) Kate Little and (Craig) Anthony Slater who found out they were expecting a child at the same time that they heard the world was about to end.
It was a thought-provoking evening but the play lacked light and shade.
We were given an insight into how some in the inner city might approach the end of the world – perhaps if there was a contrast with people from other walks of life it would have been a more engrossing evening.
David Spicer

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