Adelaide Festival Review: Blue

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dave Bradley, reviews Adelaide Festival 2024's Blue presented by State Theatre Company South Australia.

This first play by Thomas Weatherall (originally a Belvoir St Theatre production) features Callan Purcell alone on the stage, and explores the colour blue as it pertains to the ocean, to sadness and depression, to mortality, and beyond.

Purcell’s Mark has always wanted to be a writer, and he relates his complex life story under the direction of Deborah Brown. He begins with talk of his new housemate Effie (with whom he’s obviously falling in love), and then segues into tales of his family and his absent brother John, and what they got up to as children with their most tolerant Mum.

The sea is a continual, sometimes healing, sometimes menacing presence throughout, and Jacob Nash’s set and David Bergman’s video design bring it to life behind Mark/Callan, as crashing waves are seen from above and, later, dark water seems to engulf everything.

The mood of tragedy and melancholia means that we can probably predict much of what is coming, and yet there’s still real and raw emotional power here, with Callan delivering an extraordinarily moving performance. It was also striking that there seemed to be little amplification of his voice as well, and yet he could be heard clearly throughout the hushed Scott Theatre.

Very much one of Adelaide Festival 2024’s key productions, this is a work of rare beauty. And blueness.


until Saturday 16th of March

Scott Theatre, Adelaide

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