Where: The Living Room
When: 12-13 March
How was your day? Why do you drink so much? The arts aren’t exactly a career though, are they? Welcome to Peach Cobbler, where you are a fly on the wall of a very uncomfortable but very real feeling family dinner.
The venue is the Living Room, and it literally is in a living room. We meet outside an apartment building and are guided up the lift and into the house. The TV is on and I get asked to bring the salad to the table, thanks love. And it could be anyone’s family. Mum fussing over the roast potatoes and worrying there isn’t enough food. Dad hovering around the TV, ‘sing out if you need a hand’. Then once the lift loads of audience members have all been delivered, the family sits down to dinner.
Peach Cobbler intends to bring to light the casual racism, misogyny, and politics that take place at a dinner table. Georgia, the daughter, is constantly fighting against her family who gang up on her at every moment. No topic is left unsaid, with the family arguing over everything from racism, feminism, same sex marriage, Brexit, and the monarchy over the course of their dinner. I’m amazed that Georgia keeps trying, I’d have just shut up and eaten my roast lamb in peace.
But Georgia is admirable. She goes headlong into conflict and tries to educate her family about these issues that impact all of us. Eventually, the argument comes to a head. There’s no resolution, everyone storms off. And the audience is left nursing a bowl of peach cobbler, stunned to silence.
Laura Desmond, a local Adelaide playwright, has successfully captured the issues facing us in contemporary Australia. She has looked in the kitchen of families across the country and summarised the arguments in a neat piece. I feel uncomfortable for most of the play, these problems are in your face and it weights heavy in my chest.
Daniel, the brother, is condescending, ‘There’s nothing that art can actually change, Georgia’. Georgia rebuts, ‘Art makes more empathetic people.’ The messaging is clear. Laura is attempting to do just that, make more empathetic people one audience member at a time. I just wonder how much she is succeeding, or how much she is preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, Peach Cobber has a very limited run. I’d recommend joining the family for dinner, and maybe bringing someone that needs preaching.
4 out of 5 stars
— Natalie Carfora