House on Fire by Debra Oswald
This charming little play was commissioned by SCEGGS - a private school in Sydney's Eastern sSuburbs with a brief no doubt for a contemporary piece of drama, with humour and lots of parts for girls.
Debra Oswald has fulfilled this brief with flying colours.
The Australian Theatre for Young People production was a treat to watch, except for the occasional difficulty in hearing some of the more softly spoken characters.
The narrator is India, who is the bright as a spark neighbour of the Conway sisters, played very sharply by Nathalie Fenwick.
She has lots to stick her nose into.
The father of the house is away on his honeymoon, having just married one of the girl's Geography teachers. He's left his daughters to handle all manner of challenges.
The eldest daughter Bec played credibly by Darcie Irwin-Simpson is being evicted and fears she might be pregnant.
She has to rescue little sister Evie played by Stepahnie Jaja in a bucket of tears after being caught shoplifting.
All of this drama impacts on another sister Michaela, played earnestly by Xenia Goodwin, on the eve of studying for her HSC.
So the house is, metaphorically, on fire even before the real trouble strikes.
For me the stand out performance was from Claudia Brooks who played Charlotte, the leader of the shop-lifting gang. She came across as such a bitch that you wanted to give her a clip over the ears.
At (soft) drinks after the show she assured me she in fact a very nice person - but an exceptional actress.