Behind the Wheel

Behind the Wheel
Written and directed by Travis Koch. Fringe World. Hayman Theatre 2, Curtin University, Bentley, WA. Feb 6-14, 2021

Behind the Wheel is a sensitive play that focuses on a young man as his wife is suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. An interesting look at the difficulty of relationships and the impact of illness and disability, it is well written and directed with some strong performances.

Excellent performances from the leading couple. Samuel Addison is superb as Scott, a loveable but very flawed young man who is struggling before his wife’s diagnosis but rises to be her carer while providing financial support - at great mental and emotional cost, before a revelation that crushes his world. Beautiful depth in this performance played with sensitivity and power. Pauline Rosman is excellent as Emma, portraying the onset of her symptoms well and showing excellent layers of emotion. 

Strong support from Elijah Thomas as Aiden, although stronger diction and projection would help at times, and Kiri Silva, who adds lovely energy.

Playing in Hayman Theatre’s smaller space, Shelby McKenzie and Props Supervisor Rachel Abelha have created a simple multi-locale set, that still manages to have ring-of-truth detail - including a Safe WA QR code on the bar. Supportive lighting from Chloe Palliser and sound operation from Stage Manager Dominique Duvall - help give this short play fully realised production values.

While the subject matter is dark, there are some moments of humour and great acting keeps the audience focused throughout. A really interesting perspective and engaging theatrical experience.

Kimberley Shaw

Photographer: John Conge

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