State Theatre Company’s 2018 season has been given one simple umbrella theme by Artistic Director Geordie Brookman – truth. After packing a powerful punch in its premiere production of In The Club that strove to confront the truth about sex scandals surrounding AFL, it was hard to see how STCSA could come up with another equally haunting but more accessible show for younger audiences. Then the State Ed production Terrestrial hits the stage and shatters our doubts.
Terrestrial tells the tale of alien-obsessed teenager Liddy who has moved to a middle of nowhere mining town and the unlikely friendship she forms with local boy Badar that sees both their lives changed forever. It’s a unique, funny, dark, engaging story from Fleur Kilpatrick, told in retrospect to create mystery around the disappearance of one of these characters, with a twist that could break your heart. It is extremely well acted by both actors Annabel Matheson and Patrick Jhanur who portray their characters with notable realism, making their plights sympathetic. The cast – the whole show even – is extremely well directed by Nescha Jelk; every element of the production is timed perfectly, from scene changes to prop reveals, its seamless storytelling.
State Theatre is the leading company to look to in SA when it comes to design aspects. Meg Wilson’s costuming aided the actors in making their characters more realistic, and her set design is incredible and adaptable, the configuration and colouring of which paired with Chris Petridis’ lighting allowing for multiple times and settings to appear real onstage (from a interrogation room, to a desert night sky). Sound by Andrew Howard really contributed to mood, assisting in heightening tension as the plot progressed particularly through voiceovers.
All up, Terrestrial is a production that falls perfectly within the STCSA’s season theme of truth; it examines the seeking of truth and the difficulty it sometimes presents us in facing it. It’s a show that appeals to not only the teen audiences it’s targeted at, but also adults who can appreciate excellent storytelling and an important message at the core of it. This is one of the finest State Ed productions ever presented and shouldn’t be missed.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Terrestrial is currently touring regionally, and will be showing from the 23rd May until the 2nd June (Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays) at the Space Theatre. More information about the production and how to buy tickets can be found here.
Thumbnail image via STCSA website.