The Jade
Until 28 Feb 2018

Review by Anthony Vawser

Monologue performances carry with them a unique degree of freedom to a performer. This one is presented in a relatively simple fashion (by director Ross Vosvotekas), with audio-visual elements utilised sparingly but effectively (by operator Bethan Maddison), and props deployed in a particularly poignant manner at times. The true strengths of Pearls are in the text by performer/producer Tracy Crisp (with acknowledgment to dramaturg Maggie Wood), and the gently humorous, engaging way she delivers it to us.

This is a tale of love and forgiveness, of parents and children, of taking chances, of growing up, moving out, moving on, coming home, and looking back, without letting grief triumph over us…The emotional significance of the title will only become fully apparent by the end, when it delivers a remarkable impact.

Crisp’s stage presence is quietly confident and skilful at touching on a wide range of emotions, as she generously opens out her life - and the lessons she’s learned from it – in a highly relatable manner, without the need for overt performing, nor falling into the trap of simply narrating a script and neglecting stagecraft.

This show will appeal strongly to a broad audience, particularly South Australians, and is an ideal choice to take your parents along to.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

*Maggie Wood is a reviewer for Adelaide Theatre Guide.