Madeleine Lee’s Underdog begins the evening with a joyously subtle gut punching story that weaves acceptance, racism, AFL and the blind eyes we chose to turn and expose, as we navigate our way through life.
Lee’s writing is solid and insightful – creating characters that feel whole and relatable, but still curious and surprising. The story bounces through time with a clear and exciting narrative, that is just bursting with potential. Moments of cliche are few and far between and will easily ebb away through further development.
Gloria Demillo follows with their stunning work, A Minute’s Silence. Demillo takes on double duty by performing the work – showcasing their talents not only as a writer but as a skilled story teller as well.
They rapidly connect with their audience, drawing them into a world of double standards, racial inequality and Australia’s nearsighted gaze when it comes to historical truths. The work strikes straight to the heart of the issues, with Demillo using innovative performance methods to connect with and constantly upend their audience.
Lily Cox’s A Couch and Two Bodies rounds out the evening – a two hander about a bitter break up that then flashes to a bitter relationship that came before. Using a well worn structure, Cox traverses expectation to mine the often unheard, those comments kept hidden when trying to keep the peace.
At times scenes felt unnervingly similar, Cox uses this troupe to display a relationship dying a death of a thousand cuts – the snide, nasty and dishonest way a couple can tear down what they once made so sacred.
Each work is brimming with talent, intrigue and potential, and Sevenfold Theatre Company should be commended for creating a welcoming environment and fostering new and emerging talents.
Festivals like Solstice are so important for getting works off the page, connecting artists to audiences and allowing creatives to take their first steps into the theatre landscape. Here’s hoping that is this is the first of many Solstice festivals to come.
Solstice: Emerging Writers Festival
Bluestone Church Arts Space, 8A Hyde Street, Footscray
Performance: Friday 10 June 2022
Season: 8 – 11 June 2022 (ended)
Image: A Couch and Two Bodies – courtesy of Sevenfold Theatre Company
Review: Gavin Roach