Printable CopyAREA 53
Until 24 Feb 2019

Review by Anthony Vawser

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

Behind the generic-looking title is an ultimately delightful experience. A fully immersive journey into the possibilities of alien life, “Area 53” matches in impact any comparable adventure that a major theme-park could cook up. (Aside from entertaining audiences, this production also appears to double as a successful training ground for aspiring young performers to hone their craft and have a blast at the same time.)

After wowing Whyalla at the uneARTh Festival with an earlier version of this concept, actor/directors Claire Glenn & Anthony Kelly have brought “Area 53” – an idea conceived by Lachlan Judd & Adam Oostehuizen - to the Adelaide Fringe, no mean feat for a show so seemingly site-specific. From the open-air meeting point to a specially outfitted Brompton venue, this is unpredictable theatre that requires staying on one’s toes (quite literally; there is nary a chance to sit down for close to fifty minutes).

There are laughs, thrills, and surprises around every corner, as well as committed characterisations from Glenn and Kelly that manage somehow to be as endearing as they are abrasive, plus solid support by an ensemble of youngsters clearly relishing the task of bringing such a wild ride into existence. The current season may be over, but D’faces is a company that this reviewer will be keeping an eye out for – and given the quality of “Area 53”, so should you.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)