Fringe Theatre Review 2018: Speak of the Devil

What: Speak of the Devil
Deep End Theatre Company
Until March 17
Basem3nt Studios
How much: 
$20, concession $15

Image credit: Adelaide Fringe

Trigger warning// suicidal themes

“The heat in the sphere incinerates the skin off my body, it morphs into thousands upon thousands of blowflies that move away in all directions, dissipating into the sky I stand there. Shaking. Bleeding. Alone I’ve never had a dream like that… not before… it just keeps coming back…” (Speak of the Devil).

Speak of the Devil is a powerful original production that perfectly captures grief and mourning and places it up to intense scrutiny. Four friends try to negotiate the trauma of a death of a friend, a lover, a sibling. Through probing the human psyche, the actors authentically instilled their emotions on top of mine. Art rarely makes me cry, and to witness such an incredible play leave an indelible mark on myself and other audience members is a witness to the ingenious that this short one-hour production has.

The young cast does an incredible job of conveying the appropriate reactions and emotions to the suicide of a friend. We follow a group of young people (Clarisse Bonello, Chanella Macri, Damian Okulic and Slone Sudiro) who are stuck in a seemingly endless Australian suburban summer. We are given small instances of a backstory that is traumatically recollected to us through a somewhat terrifying devil figure (Darcy Whitsed). This character, dressed as a black vulture, stalks the stage when the main characters are in a liminal stasis and pokes out a story in each character that relates to their relationship with the dead friend. Major props must be given to the sound, light and other designers (Juliette Whitney, Jessie Keyes, Tom Lloyd and Edwin Cheah) who managed to convey the emotional trauma and baggage which came with each stop of time, each beautiful and terrifying moment of pure humanity.

“Warnings in verse
Warnings in many languages
Warnings with bleeding edges
Warnings with humour
Warnings with dance and sub low threats and voodoo puns and spectacular ancient ugliness.
And then it’s gone” (Speak of the Devil).

This play featuring a talented ensemble cast of Victorian College of the Arts students is a must-see performance. I highly encourage anyone to see this production that touches one’s emotions so eloquently and brilliantly.

5 out of 5 stars.

Dylan Rowen

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