Javeenbah Theatre Company’s production of Sweet Road is a surprisingly relatable, albeit dramatic, Aussie journey from start to finish.
Written by Debra Oswald of Offspring fame and directed by Gaye Gay, the show follows a group of colourful characters as they road trip through the Australian outback.
Kaela Gray commandeered the stage in the role of Jo, expertly displaying emotion and evoking a great response from the audience. The on-stage chemistry between Gray and Craig Smith as Michael deserves recognition, as does the overall finesse these two fine actors showed, portraying their characters with the utmost commitment and energy.
A special mention must go to Emily Scanlon in the role of Carla, for creating one of the most realistic representations of a mother I’ve seen in theatre thus far. Even without physical children to play off of, Scanlon’s actions and raw emotion helped the audience to practically picture her two meddling kids running up and down old, muddy roads. Both Frankie Spear and Dom Bradley also delivered some fantastic scenes.
Although there were a couple of little mishaps, these were few and far between. Ultimately, any mistakes only served to demonstrate the cast’s quick recovery, leaving in their wake a rather professional production with clean transitions between scenes.
Similarly, the lighting and sound technician must be congratulated on a brilliantly simple but effective scape. This helped the audience steer through what otherwise may have been confusing crossed storylines.
The interlacing storylines of Sweet Road shed light on varying aspects of the quintessential Australian experience, with many exciting twists and turns along the way. These kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout interval, waiting with bated breath for Act 2 to return them to this intricately created narrative. However, it still managed to remain realistic and relatable, with some old-fashioned Aussie humour set within the dramatic, emotional mood of the production.
Javeenbah Theatre Company delivered a very solid production overall. Sweet Road is a must-see for any Australian drama lover, especially those who can enjoy and appreciate insightful direction and the fabulous community atmosphere that Javeenbah is known for.
Sweet Road runs at Javeenbah Theatre until April 8, 2017. To book tickets, head to javeenbah.org.au
Review by Minnie Behn-Katz