Smashed – Griffin Independent Season

 Smashed is another short piece in what appears to be a trend toward ‘playettes’ that run at about 40 – 45 minutes. 

 Presented by: Griffin Independent Season Venue: Stables Theatre – Darlinghurst  Friday 9 September 2011 
SmashedSmashed is another short piece in what appears to be a trend toward ‘playettes’ that run at about 40 – 45 minutes. I am all for short theatre and I have, in the past, feared that we would end up with a reversed trend after much theatre was beginning to creep up to and past the four hour mark. Smashed is a lovely lyrical piece of writing that is so different from the often plot-driven fare that is offered up as new Australian theatre writing.
Smashed follows two girls in a teenage dream, dream because it becomes immediately apparent that we are in the mind, and not in the real world, and teenage because of that very particular bond between teenage girls that is recognisable as soon as the lights go up. The sound and images take the audience back to the eighties and you can almost feel the heat of summer holidays and see the flash of blue at the local Blue light Disco. We discover this is a trip down a tenuous memory lane and is ominous from the start. It becomes clear that all is not happy in this world and the two girls are clinging to this world of memory as it slips away. 
Suzannah McDonald plays Hazel who is coming to terms with her mothers death and seems to be pulling her friend Ruby, played by Katherine Tonkin, along with her on the memory ride. There is a twist in this tale, one I won’t reveal but one that is not so important in such a lyrical work. Both the women are strong and warm the audience with their dreams. The only thing is, wanting to see more. It is such a short piece that it seems like every stage is gone just as its point is made. It is not that the actors are short on energy and focus or that the piece lacks depth, more that it has enough substance to be drawn out to a full-length piece.
The story is simple yet so effective, the set, sound and direction so engaging that it could play for twice as long and, if it could be developed, has a lot to say about friendship and memory and getting through this life in one piece.  Written by Lally KatzDirected by Clare Watson 

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