St Jude's Players
St Jude's Hall (Grundy Hall)
Until 17 Aug 2019

Review by Luke Wagner

The real gift of the art of theatre is the ability to make people feel a range of emotions and connect with the characters being portrayed onstage. In their stunning production of “Things I Know to Be True”, St Judes have done just that.

Bob and Fran are a pair of baby boomers whose kids have all grown up with most having left the nest already. Over the course of a year we see Bob and Fran support their children through the trials and tribulations of adult life and coming to terms with themselves. As the story unfolds we see the family face everything from affairs to crimes.

Geoff Brittain has done a superb job directing this production. He has helped to craft a production where the whole cast have delivered nuanced performances and with a very well-crafted flow.

Cheryl Douglas as Pip, the eldest daughter, gives a strong performance of a woman at breaking point. Leighton Vogt as Mark is equally strong and delivers some of the shows funnier and lighter moments, but knows when to pull it back for the heavier moments. Ben Price showed a great deal of emotional depth as Ben, and Zanny Edhouse shone as the youngest Rosie who was exploring her future. Tim Williams as the patriarchal Bob was excellent from start to finish and was a worked especially well with Edhouse. Nicole Rutty was simple stunning as the family matriarch Fran. Rutty was equal parts commanding and vulnerable as she played a woman who has worked her entire life for her family and sacrificed her own happiness time and time again. She is simple a joy to watch and ties the whole production together beautifully.

The other standout of this production is the incredible set designed by Ole Weibken and coordinated by Don Oakley. The attention to detail was incredible, from the corrugated iron fence in Bob’s perfectly maintained garden, to the kitchen off to the side connected cleverly with a screen door that both separated the spaces and helped it flow together.

This production demonstrated everything that is great about the amateur theatre community in Adelaide. This is a stunning production put together by a group of people who are passionate and supportive of the arts. “Things I Know to Be True” is a show that is not to be missed.