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Australian Arts Review – Savages review

See article in its original context here by Australian Arts Review.

Poignant, powerful, emotive and menacing are words that can easily describe Patricia Cornelius’ latest offering for the stage, Savages.

A disturbing exposition of reported events in real-life, Savages is a confronting observational drama about four mates who set out on a cruise of a life time. Once the initial excitement subsides and the bittersweet reality of their lives and surrounds set in, insecurities are soon revealed and a menacing underbelly of masculinity and misogyny emerges.

Savages is a well-structured blend of raw, gritty and rhythmic phases, peppered with short and sharp bites that packs a punch. Cornelius’ writing is the more powerful for what it doesn’t say.

Each of the four characters are easily recognisable. Distinctly flawed and morally deficient in some form, they are convincingly played by Lyall Brooks (George), Luke Elliott (Runt), James O’Connell (Rabbit) and Mark Tregonning (Craze).

Director Susie Dee delivers a well-rounded production set on Marg Howell’s imposing raked stage that resembles a ship’s deck complete with multi-coloured streamers, augmented by Andy Turner’s, at times, menacing but effective lighting and Kelly Ryall’s pulsating sound.

While many may find the subject matter of Savages and the events leading up to the foreboding, yet unseen act unpleasant, credit must be given to Cornelius and forty-five downstairs for their un-wavering commitment to the exploration of real Australian stories.

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