The totally black set works wonderfully with the sparse contrapuntal minor settings of back seat, train seats, car and apartment. The central positioning of the overhead projector flashing fuller pictures of the coast, the bus and other pertinent material ties the action together most satisfactorily. Lighting is simple and thus effective. All this, with the music and sounds off are a credit to young Sam Hassett, for good theatre goes way beyond treading the boards.
The age of the actors is perhaps the most compelling feature of the production, bringing a heart-rendering vulnerability to the action, naturally, unaware. The audience is shocked by their fears and how they cope, their insecurity as to their futures, the dependence on alcohol, and TV soaps for advice on how to live life, their desire for freedom at any price and the age-old certainty of their own immortality. One wonders where good parenting and wholesome teaching has disappeared to.
Outstanding amongst an enthusiastic group of budding actors were Cattee Dodding (Thelma) and Chelly Raymond (Loulou) as the country hicks from 800 kilometers away. The audience adored their spontaneous love of life and fun, their down-to-earth basics in their falling-to-bits car. Rhiannon Shepherd (Amanda) and Kerri Henderson (Yolanda) as private schoolgirls sharing a limo to Surfers were delightful and managed their drunkenness with more subtlety than most more experienced actors. Their freezing in positioning so as not to upstage action elsewhere on the stage was exemplary. The phone techniques of Letitia O’Brien as Freda and Amanda were excellent.
A good director needs to have every aspect of the production under control, and Betsy Atkinson certainly did. The actors loved every minute of their time on the stage and all show great promise, for therein lies our healthy theatrical future.
Although touted as a play to appeal to the under 25 year olds, no parent of teenage children should miss out on experiencing Blurred; then decide on what they wish for their beloved children when that time comes.
Reviewer: Enid Forsyth for The Daily Mercury