Strangers in Between

Strangers in Between
By Tommy Murphy. Directed by Daniel Lammin, produced by Cameron Lukey and Andy Johnston. fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 24 January - 11 February 2018.

The timing of this production provides the opportunity to reflect on the recent passing of same-sex marriage legislation in Australia. The play was first staged in 2005 and was an immediate hit for its raw yet tender examination of homosexuality. Only the absence of technology gives away its age. This revival highlights how the themes remain just as hard-hitting today.

Shane (Wil King) is a sensitive soul who confronts a variety of psychological demons through his journey of discovery of his sexuality. King plays the role with incredible authenticity and poignancy. Despite the recent changes in the law in Australia, Shane is a stark reminder that there are still many young individuals who are experiencing similar turmoil; young people who have to do battle with backward and regressive attitudes while trying to work out where they fit in society.

The innuendo and passion in Shane’s encounters with Wil (Guy Simon) and Peter (Simon Burke) are fully exploited and take the play into deeply emotional territories with both tragic and comic elements. The staging is ingeniously simple, striking and effective. This adds to the incredibly timeless quality of the text and the situations the characters find themselves embroiled in. This is a profoundly touching play that is performed with humour and sensitivity, and this production acts as a magnificent showcase for some stunning local talent.

Patricia Di Risio

Photographer: Sarah Walker

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