Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Noel Lothian Hall
Until 25 Feb 2018

Review by Jamie Wright

On a sheep station in country South Australia, two brothers – Kane and Aaron – are reunited. The former has spent the last ten years at boarding school, then university, then working in the city; the latter has remained on the station to help run the family business and, more recently, to care for their ailing father. Tensions begin high but only get higher as both hard truths and long-buried resentments are revealed.

There are biblical allusions galore, from the characters’ names to the concept of the prodigal son returning. And it’s impossible to not think of American playwright Sam Shepard as a significant influence on this work, his much acclaimed ‘True West’ in particular – estranged brothers who are on far from good terms with each other, the action occurring in a single room, and the constant feeling of menace being the most significant.

It’s fast-paced and while the dialogue at times feels almost overdone in terms of Australian colloquialisms for a play set in (presumably) modern day, it’s otherwise a highly engaging production. The two performers (unnamed here; there was no program) both dig deep into the flawed, complex characters and give great performances.

While it’s perhaps not as strong a script as some of Duncan Graham’s other works, it’s still solid, and this production has done an equally solid job of presenting it.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)