Review: Brothers Wreck
Brothers Wrecktells the story of a family rebounding from deep sorrow. It begins with a household waking up on a hot morning in Darwin. The discovery of a loved one’s lifeless body hanging from a rafter means things will never be the same again.
Jada Alberts is a writer from the Top End and this, her first full-length play, is a searing drama that catches us up in its grieving characters’ lives, all the way to a moving finale.
Ruben (Hunter Page-Lochard) is a young man in his early 20’s. We first meet him silently sitting on the stairs under his house. It is soon revealed someone dear, his cousin Joey, has been taken from him and we realise he is in shock.
Ruben and Joey along with Jarrod (Bjorn Stewart), the boyfriend of Joey’s sister Adele (Rarriwuy Hick), used to fish together from a tinny they rescued from the dump, even naming a spot on the local harbour with three sunken wrecks after themselves. Now unable to deal with the emotions triggered by the tragedy, Ruben is slipping off the rails. He lurches through irresponsible behaviour, narrowly avoiding jail and the professional help he is offered from a court-appointed counsellor, David (Cramer Cain), he is actively resisting. Most alarming of all, Ruben is becoming isolated by his grief. His family rallies round – his Auntie Petra (Lisa Flanagan) sweeps in from Alice Springs - but can they save him from the self-destructive path he seems intent on following?
Alberts has written a bold script that is as funny and lively as it is poignant and tragic. Director Leah Purcell perfectly creates a sense of ‘fly on the wall’ intimacy which works so well and her production has an authentic sense of place aided by Dale Ferguson’s set, Luiz Pampolha’s lighting and Brendan O’Brien’s sound design. Best of all, it boasts a fine cast with a break out performance by Page-Lochard and a heartfelt and honest one by Stewart.
Alberts is an incontestable talent and this piece – written for her family - shows promise of more powerful things to come.