Cross by Stephanie Briarwood
Cross is an intriguing piece of theatre. Ostensibly, it is about two sisters, photographer Regina (Jane Johnson) and her kooky younger sister Erica (Emma Hardy), a puppeteer, on an epic trek. “Hot white lines and scorching rivalry: two sisters on the road-trip of a lifetime.” The journey they undertake across the vast Australian countryside, so Regina, a talented photographer can take pictures of an array of roadside shrines for an art exhibition is the “tool” for the exploration. Along the way, they experience fatigue, drugs, trucks, danger, mystery, love and faith. Couched in believable dialogue, plenty of action, and lots of emotion, the story of their sibling rivalry and their background evolves. This play, beautifully performed by Emma Hardy and Jane Johnson, is funny, clever and moving. It is fast-paced, bright, and bouncy and has a sting in the tail. It is also the kind of play where, upon leaving the theatre, one’s impressions are not easy to catch hold of. It’s a sleeper: the theme of road trauma is the reason for the action, but love and humanity is the underlying message. The brilliant set, designed by Stephanie Briarwood, is a rotating, bombed-out Austin. Technical designer Darren Willmott ensured it worked brilliantly. This traveling production continues to dazzle audiences.