Things I know to be true is a testament to the strength of West Australian Creative writing.
Kate Champion’s directorial debut for the State Theatre is gripping from the get go. The atmospheric down lights and her desire to have a ‘revolve without a revolve’ has been realised effectively and is well rehearsed, used as an aesthetic and efficient scene change and to create the illusion of the passing of time.
Laura Shaw as Rosie is the glue of the piece. Often onstage as the silent observer, guiding the audience on how to think, feel and respond. We travel with her through laughter, sadness, and worry. The play is also peppered with comic relief from Humphrey Bower as Bob, which adds to the emotions felt in his final onstage moments.
The realism of the performances are complemented by small directorial and staging choices. A working tap in the kitchen bench and planting the onstage garden in real dirt are careful pieces of the tapestry working together to immerse the audience in the onstage story. And what a story. This script is humanist and it is relatable.The themes of gender dysmorphia, extra marital affairs and the roles and structure of the nuclear family are arguably more relevant now then when the play was first written in 2016.
Andrew Bovell has written dialogue carefully and honestly. It is delivered with confidence and purpose. The onstage performances are truthful and believable.
The final section of this show is hard to watch, not because it isn’t good, but because it is a poignant and real reminder that life is short and easily wasted.
As a directorial debut, supported by an exceptional cast, this performance sets a standard that I am excited to watch Kate Champion maintain, and exceed, during her time as Artistic Director at Black Swan.
4 1/2 STARS.
Things I Know To Be True plays at the Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre until 18th June.
Buy tickets from their website.
Check out our preview of the entire Black Swan Theatre season for 2023 here.