April 11, 2015

Suburban hope cruelled by fate

The Good Son
by Elena Carapetis
The Other Ones
The Bakehouse Theatre, Angas St. Adelaide
April 10. Tickets: $ 20- $30. Until April 25.
Duration 70 minutes.

“He curses his virtue like an unclean thing.” Playwright Elena Carapetis has taken her epigraph and title from Nick Cave’s The Good Son. This fine new work is an inner suburban tragedy of addiction, dependency and quiet desperation.

Frank (Renato Musolino), a dutiful son in his thirties, lives with his Greek mother Meda (Eugenia Fragos) whose compulsive gambling requires his constant, increasingly resentful, vigilance. When his new friend Ana (Adriana Bonaccurso) appears, Frank has hopes for a different future. But in a string of (sometimes overwrought) revelations from his close friend Jimmy (Demitrios Sirilas) the destinies of all four characters are cruelly written.

Crisply directed by Corey McMahon, with splendid décor by Manda Webber deftly lit by Ben Flett, the performances are excellent and Musolino and Fragos are outstanding. The Good Son is Aeschylus in Adelaide, Tennessee Williams in Torrensville. With its vividly observed Australian naturalism, it jolts us from gentle romantic farce into a gripping spiral of inevitability.

Murray Bramwell

Published in edited form as “Suburban hope cruelled by fate”, The Australian, April 16, 2015, p.14.

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