Nathan Giaccio reviews the world premiere of Bryony Lavery's Thursday
2005: four years following September 11, the harrowing bombings that forever changed the face of the planet, the globe is buried deep within a state of panic in fear of terrorism. Racism is at its peak. Neighbour against neighbour, the colour of our skin is a predisposition to our morality (or lack thereof) and the nasty intentions we supposedly harbour.
Across the pond, London is exposed to the horror. On the 7th of July, a series of carefully co-ordinated suicide bombings is carried out in the London Underground. Adelaide woman Gill Hicks is the last living survivor rescued. Both her legs are amputated below her knees. Her injuries are so severe that she is unrecognisable, and titled ‘One Unknown’. She was not expected to live. Hicks’ bravery and tenacity inspired millions, and was the refreshing breath of humanity that restored a sense of hope to the dank cloud of terrorism that haunted the naughties.
2013: Chris Drummond, Brink Productions, invites us to witness this tale of bravery, pain, and racism in Thursday, which endeavours to show us what it means to be human.
Drummond has done just that. Bryony Lavery (writer) has carefully woven a melodic, poetic script that is reminiscent of the Shakespearean era. Dan Potra’s stage design is a clever and innovative use of levels, perfectly amalgamated with ghostly lighting by Colin Grenfell, that manages to harmonise several rooms simultaneously on the one stage.
Kate Mulvany’s portrayal as the lead was entrancing and powerfully emotional. At times it was easy to forget that we, the audience, were mere spectators and not standing beside Mulvany, experiencing the dark events unfold. Deidre Rubenstein and Lena Kaur added (well portrayed and expertly acted) elements of culture, age, thought, and creed, that bolstered the enigmatic feel of the production.
Thursday delivers on every level it promises to. Do not expect to walk away from this production feeling light and jolly—what can be promised is an insightful appreciation of the rancid darkness humanity is capable of, but also the bravery and hope we can achieve by uniting in harmony and love. Drummond has crafted a seamless diorama of the human experience, that is a delightful experience on all levels.
Thursday shows at the Norwood Concert Hall, 175 The Parade, Norwood from 28 February to 16 March, including Auslan and school performances. Weekday matinees begin at 11:00AM. Tickets may be booked through BASS or at brinkproductions.com