Finsart Studio
Until 10 Mar 2019

Review by Jamie Wright

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

Wes and Ash visit their friend Francis in hospital. But what he tells them is the reason he’s there is not what they’re expecting to hear – and now they have to deal with the ramifications.

Written and directed by Robert Baulderstone – who also plays Francis – “After Life” uses a not unfamiliar idea of using concepts more at home in genre fiction to provide the catalyst for people to have conversations about issues such as life, death and the nature of perception. This is sometimes a double-edged sword since, while it allows these discussions to have a starting point, it can also act to undermine the impact when it gets thought about on a deeper level – which is what happens here; the story takes us to some interesting places, but in a slightly unsatisfying way.

The remaining cast – Nicolas Perrotta (Wes), Beatrice Blackwell (Ash) and Tilly Magwaz (The Nurse) do well throughout; the highlight is probably the conversations between Wes and The Nurse where the performances and Baulderstone’s writing combine for some really compelling moments.

While it’s not without its flaws, “After Life” – and it’s important to bear in mind that it is the work of emerging Adelaide artists – demonstrates a great deal of potential.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)