Bone Cage

Bone Cage
Adelaide Fringe Festival 2022. Stage Secrets. Watch from home.

Bone Cage offers two alternatives to view the production, live audience and ‘watch from home’. I was unable to attend the live performance so this review is based on the online option.

Directed by Dr Corinna Di Niro, this production dives headfirst into the world of domestic family violence. To quote Dr Di Niro, “First, a glimpse into the world as perceived by the controlling and narcissistic husband portraying a loving relationship and a seemingly accepting/happy wife. We then take the audience into the world behind closed doors, as seen through the eyes of the victim — the cage symbolising both the controlled woman and her mind that prevents her from leaving, or does it?”

Largely set on a blank stage with three blank walls to project Sina Matezki, Jonathan Kovarch’s virtual production and scenography, we are introduced to the three actors - Georgia Laity, Suzanne Breeze and Robert Donnarumma - who show us the faces we are meant to see in public and the real faces only shown in private.

The real ‘star’ of the production is the bone cage, a construction of wood, wire, metal, locks and chains and designed to house Laity and to represent any domestic situation where one of the parties is trapped in their relationship. Emerging from the darkness is a haze of smoke and mist and eerie sound designed by Phil van Hout and Sina Matezki whose soundscape added considerable depth to the piece.

Andrei Gostin’s moody lighting perfectly complements the sound and highlights Donnarumma’s snoring, the constant that links each scene.

Bone Cage uses interactivity (Dr Susannah Emery and Claudia Kuerschner, with images by Jonathan Kovarch) to involve the audience who can add their views and comments to the play.

I applaud Stage Secrets for their decision to highlight such an important social problem during the Fringe.

The topic is handled sensitively, however is certain to touch nerves in its audiences and will hopefully start conversations which may bring relief to its sufferers.

While I understand the reason for the sparse dialogue, to me it did not always work. More amplification would have enabled we, the audience, to be fully immersed in the drama.

Bone Cage is thought provoking, disturbing and enlightening and important viewing!

Barry Hill

Photographer: Jonathan Kovarch

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