“He’d been shoving her around for a while now. I knew that. Sometimes she’d tell me, sometimes not, but I could always tell when they’d had a blue. But she was my girl and sometimes things were better left unsaid.”
Well-meaning, teenage misfit Millie comes home from work one day to discover her old childhood friend Annie bruised and bloody on her doorstep. Millie picks her up, dusts her off and puts her in the bath.
Lying in bed together, the two reminisce on a childhood that occurred a lifetime ago and recall an old promise to care for one other “until the end of the earth, no matter the cost and no matter the consequence.” As Annie sleeps, Millie vows to honour her friend in the one way that seems fair; revenge.
Following the precedent set by stylistically similar productions such as Simon Stephen’s Sea Wall, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and the critically acclaimed Theatre Works season of Conor McDermottroe’s Swansong, Kerosene embraces the power of simple, solo storytelling in creating an intimate, absorbing and powerful theatrical experience.
No set and no props – just one woman telling a story about protecting and caring for her best friend in the only way she knows how.
Set in the outskirts of metropolitan Melbourne, Kerosene is a relentless and unsympathetic character study exploring the complex, ugly and dangerous symptoms of love.
It is a homage to the blind loyalty that accompanies lifelong friendships and the realities of what it means to grow up young, quiet and forgotten in modern day Australia.
The work is presented in two parts: a life changing act of revenge drives the narration, while memories and reflections of a childhood friendship are scattered throughout.
Benjamin Nichol and Izabella Yena are both rising stars within the Melbourne theatre industry. Izabella’s credits include Home I’m Darling (MTC), The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You (MTC), and Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears (Every Cloud Productions). Following the season of Kerosene, she will star in Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes at the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Benjamin recently performed in both Melbourne and European seasons of LOVE by Patricia Cornelius. His writing has been developed with the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), University of Melbourne/VCA, Poppy Seed Theatre Festival, Voice in my Hands, Fresh Theatre for Social Change and the Melbourne Theatre Company’s upcoming CYBEC ELECTRIC season.
Writer / Director: Benjamin Nichol Featuring: Izabella Yena Sound Composition: Connor Ross Lighting Design: Harrie Hogan Producer: Jack Dixon Gunn
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Season: 20 – 31 January 2021
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Izabella Yena stars in Kerosene (supplied)