Review – In the Dark
In the Dark is a show devised, written and performed by 10 young people from South Australia’s Riverland under the direction of Riverland Youth Theatre’s artistic director Olivia Allen.
The show takes the performer’s hopes, their dreams, their gripes and their lives, and presents them in a multi-sensory show that’s immersing and confronting.
Playing with the idea of metaphorical darkness, audience members enter a completely dark, hazy and steamy place. In a womb-like fashion you’re surrounded by sounds that pulse and wave over you. They are sounds of the night and sounds you would associate with living near the river.
With a sense of place in mind, you enter a larger performance space where the performers cleverly use small lights and torches in darkness in sync with the sound design. Utilising the whole space, they appear around the room presenting situations in their every day lives under the light, at times using cleverly devised sets and props.
From glimpses of the teenagers under torchlight, you slowly learn more about them. The sounds played over the speakers, pan from one side of the large room to the other. In the darkness, the audience shuffles around to look at what the next beam of light will present.
In the dark, I stood affected by the performers’ candidness. Professional and mature, they taught me about country life, boredom, opportunity, repetition and escape in a way I did not expect.
You leave the dark space back into the light and are greeted by the teenagers, who hand you a program and an orange (from the Riverland) – a nice touch.