August: Osage County – a theatre review by Hila Tsor

June 11, 2018 by Hila Tsor
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Love vs solitude lays at the heart of August: Osage County.

Written by Tracy Letts and directed by Louise Fischer, a narrative set in the Oklahoma summer comes alive. The show depicts a dysfunctional family, each with their own set of problems – and secrets.

The realities of the human condition, the fragility of life, and family relationships all interplay in the American heat. Three sisters, and extended family members, come together due to the disappearance of their father. A drug-addicted mother who has cancer, and an alcoholic father kick off the play which segues into the family dynamics, crumbling relationships, indecency, loss and hopelessness.

Despite the warmth of the house, things are dark. All the characters in the play are extremely complex. Despite the climax within the chaos, the play definitely shines in its funny moments, which are executed beautifully by the cast.

The play is three hours, yet time flies, and every Act is a necessary addition to the plot. The unrevealing of the story only clicks in at the final Act, and while the messages and themes took awhile to sink in, once it did, I deeply appreciated Lett’s message.

Particularly, the acting of Alice Livingstone, playing Violet Weston and Helen Stuart, playing Barbara Fordham, were a highlight from the production. These are not simple roles to play, and I highly enjoyed watching the two of them on stage. All the actors had fantastic chemistry, and despite a bit of excessive yelling in some scenes, played their roles remarkably well.

If you’re in the mood for something dark to ponder go see August: Osage County.

New theatre Sydney

6 June-7 July 2018.

August: Osage County

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