Guy Masterson's Centre for International Theatre (CIT)
Adelaide College of the ARTS
Until 18 Mar 2012

Review by Jamie Wright

Drawing chiefly on the works of Lewis Carroll for inspiration, Belt Up Theatre’s ‘Outland’ is one of those shows that demonstrates that theatre does not always need huge budgets, elaborate sets or a cast and crew of thousands to work; here a clever concept, great writing, excellent use of the space and three very talented performers is all that’s needed to whisk you away from the everyday world into a place of imagination.

The audience, all seated around a tiny room on the third floor of the AC Arts building, are not as much acted to as they are drawn into the story – sometimes literally, being called on to play characters as it unfolds.

Director Joe Hufton demonstrates deft touch with the pacing, which is lightning-fast in parts but slower in others, perfectly matching the action in the script.

The three actors – Jethro Compton, Serena Mangheti and Dominic Allen (who also wrote the script) – all play multiple roles as the action switches between the ‘real’ world of the ailing Charles Dodgson, Oxford mathematician and Anglican deacon, and the world of his fantasy-writing pseudonym, Lewis Carroll. To say the trio demonstrate great skill at these shifts back and forth would be an understatement; the transformations encompass body language, facial expressions, voices and accents.

This is an absolutely magical experience that is equal parts funny, thrilling and touching – and a must-see for fans of clever, imaginative theatre.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)