The State Theatre Company of South Australia
Queen's Theatre
Until 06 Oct 2018

Review by Doug Phillips

Stephen Sewell’s “Welcome The Bright World” is gritty, fierce and alarmingly real. Set in the early eighties, we’re denied the comic relief that usually accompanies this decade. Instead, we’re assaulted with dark concepts and an intense plot. This is not a play for those looking for a light-hearted night of amusement.

Charles Sanders has achieved a high standard of direction, backed in by impeccable performances from each actor. There are no weak links in this cast. Plus a team of staging experts who have left nothing half-done. The production team behind this show are at the top of their game.

The set, lighting, and effects were all magnificent. If the Queen’s Theatre hasn’t held a special place in your heart before now, it just might after seeing this show. The set design and construction, perfectly embedded into this fantastic old structure, are seamless, impressive, and distinctly original.

Sewell’s subject matter is unnerving and completely captivating. Set in Berlin, with characters of Jewish, Nazi, communist, and terrorist backgrounds, this tinderbox of ideals ignites with a take-no-prisoners intensity. We feel for each character and want to reprimand them all at the same time.

No single performance stood out above the rest. Each was powerful, precise, and complete. Well cast, the talent and commitment of each performer is admirable.

Actors facing the back wall is one of the few faults to find. It was obviously staged deliberately, and not just a directing oversight. However, the result did show why it’s normally avoided. We lost the actors’ voices in these moments, which detracted slightly from the overall immersion.

Playing until October 6th, “Welcome The Bright World” is one of the best productions to play Adelaide this year.