Until 17 Mar 2018

Review by Anthony Vawser

A masked man, seemingly spectral in form, hovers around the banal conversations of four young people, as the sound track introduces a haunting effect of unidentifiable source…Crunching? Scratching? Tearing? All three? When one character imitates the broadcast of a radio that they hold physically in their hand, are we to take this literally or imaginatively?

There would seem, at first, to be little connective tissue between the individual moments/elements of this show, and the progress of the action certainly feels sluggish to start with. A rather pretentious – possibly allegorical – soliloquy part-way through does not much help matters in this regard. However, invest a little patience, and a story does gradually start to take shape: a tale of wrongful, tragic, premature human loss.

The five performers – Clarisse Bonello, Chanella Macri, Damian Okulic, Slone Sudiro, and Darcy Whitsed – all deliver a generally impressive ensemble effort, intriguing and compelling us to work at putting the pieces of plot together. When lust and passion enter the picture, the pressure cook atmosphere continues to build…

There is a curious interlude toward the end where we, and the characters, seem to enter an alternate dimension – but if “Speak of the Devil” remains mysterious and elusive on a number of levels, the most important facts and feelings eventually become clear enough, while the chosen conclusion results in a compelling and satisfying experience.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)