Saturday, November 03, 2007

King Tide Review In Drum


Griffin Theatre’s world premiere of Katherine Thomson’s King Tide is quality, home-grown drama exploring what motivates us and what defines us. It’s a play about division and acceptance and honesty. It’s both straightforward and complex and it pulls off an admirable blend of personal drama and social observation.

Sal used to be a hard-hitting political journalist, however two years after the drowning death of her son she is withdrawn and still in mourning at her beach-side holiday home. Daughter Beck takes in a mysterious Japanese boarder while hatching a plan to change the direction of her future. Although she excels at marine biology, she has decided that idealism is not the way of her future and that saving the world can wait until after she has made her first million. Enter Sal’s brother Jack (a Wheat Board guy) and his new hard-as-glass, grab-it-while-you-can girlfriend to pave the golden path to Beck’s future, and suddenly Sal is not just mourning the loss of her son but also time not spent with her daughter, as well as the loss of idealism and passion in younger generations and society generally.

Hmm. It all sounds a bit earnest, doesn’t it? Well it kind of is, in a good way, but it’s also - at just the right moments - really quite funny, the humour deftly breaking what might otherwise run the risk of being a bit of a diatribe. None of the characters are what they first seem – except for Jack’s bauble girlfriend who so accurately represents the increasing superficiality of modern life... the kind of woman who probably thinks the real estate section of The Herald is erotic literature. Each of the characters reveals more of their true nature as the play unfolds, ensuring a speedy momentum in this seemingly slow-moving story.

I really enjoyed the larger story of King Tide as well as admiring the writing itself, with some of the dialogue sounding like the narrative from your favourite novel. There’s some exquisitely drawn imagery here, and some deft handling of all aspects of a production that stays with you like good theatre should.

At SBW Stables Theatre until 24 November.



Guyana-Gyal said...

Ever thought of writing some plays and getting them produced too, Lee? I have a feeling you'd be good.

quick said...

I think of these things all the time, GG. It's getting around to doing them that is the bugger. I was supposed to start my crime novel in a proper way this year. Didn't happen. I've had many ideas for plays, haven't written them.

On a scale of one to ten I am reasonably useless.