State Theatre Company Review: Euphoria

Photo by Chris Herzfeld

Where: Space Theatre

When: 7 – 15 May

Euphoria follows schoolteacher, Meg (Ashton Malcolm), and her ex-student Ethan (James Smith), navigating the sometimes dull, oftentimes claustrophobic occurrences in their small South Aussie country town. 

Meg is inspired to hold a spring festival called Euphoria, that will celebrate all the things that make her home special. She swears she isn’t overworking herself, but with the pressure of work, the impending festival, and her abandoned medication, her grand plans begin to unravel.

Meanwhile, young Ethan is overcoming tragedy, with the loss of his family farm and a chip on his shoulder. Ethan’s sudden loss of motivation to pursue university has him feeling stranded. Meg gives him the opportunity to work with her mechanic husband to rebuild his confidence.

The pair portray a handful of roles of characters around town including Meg’s husband, and Ethan’s mates, the transitions between characters flowing seamlessly. Malcolm and Smith share a remarkable chemistry, no matter what role they were inhabiting.

Malcolm portrays Meg with such warmth, and Smith brings an intensity to Ethan. While the story is underpinned with the woes of mental illness and grief, there is a resounding optimism and plenty of light-hearted moments. I found myself grinning widely underneath my mask throughout.

Euphoria is a delight, and I’m so glad that the production is in the 2021 season so it can be shared with Adelaide audiences. Catch it at Space Theatre until 15 May before it embarks on a regional tour with Country Arts SA, more details of the regional tour here.

5 out of 5 stars.

Milly Farmer

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