The tight, witty, traditional play you’ve got by no means heard of

Lexi Sekuless performs in “The Torrents”. Photograph :Tim Ngo

Theatre/ “The Torrents”, by Oriel Grey, directed by Lexi Sekuless. At Mill Theatre till December 3. Reviewed by SIMONE PENKETHMAN.

THE new Mill Theatre’s premiere manufacturing is a 1955 Australian play, “The Torrents”, written by a lady and, on this occasion performed by an all-female and non-binary solid.

“The Torrents” are a father and son who run the native newspaper in a Nineteenth-century, gold mining city, Koolgalla.

When new journalist, JG Milford (Lexi Sekuless) is employed, your entire workers are shocked to search out that J stands for Jenny and their new colleague is a lady. 

A lot of the motion on this tight and witty play takes place within the newspaper workplace. 

The Mill Theatre is an intimate house. The viewers was seated on two sides of the room, which gave us the sensation of virtually being contained in the workplace. 

The costumes and props have been a feast for the eyes with furnishings, typewriters and printing blocks evoking bygone occasions.

It’s a fast-paced play with comedy, romance, politics and feminism working collectively in a well-realised plot.

In Koolgalla there are tensions round one of the simplest ways to make use of land. Is the gold rush over? Does the longer term lie in mining or in irrigated agriculture? 

Three quarters of a century after the play was written, these conversations nonetheless run sizzling throughout the nation.

A scene from “The Torrents”. Photograph: Tim Ngo

In 1955, the Playwrights’ Advisory Board, voted “The Torrents” finest play of the yr alongside Ray Lawler’s well-known and perennial, “Summer season of the Seventeenth Doll”.

And but, “The Torrents” wasn’t revealed till 1988.

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There are 10 male and two feminine roles on this present. The solid of 9 performed their primarily male characters with swagger and magnificence. 

Kat Smalley’s efficiency as newspaper inheritor obvious and lad about city, Ben Torrent, struck an ideal steadiness between the vainness, conceitedness and vulnerability of so many younger males.

A stunning and delightful musical component was organized by Leesa Eager utilizing the singing voices of the solid. 

Is Oriel Grey essentially the most vital Australian playwright that we’ve by no means heard of?

Solely final week, “The Guardian” requested: “Who’s afraid of Australian theatre? Why our performs aren’t handled like classics“. 

Director Sekuless may have merely staged a re-enactment of an vital and uncared for textual content, however on this case, she has exercised considerate, quirky and well-realised artistic licence.

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Ian Meikle, editor