PATALOG THEATRE CO. PRESENTS
Punk Rock by Simon Stephens
4 - 15 December 2019
Intelligent. Articulate. F***ed. Tucked away in a grammar school library, the dreaded exam period looming, seven students on the cusp of adulthood humiliate and lustfully toy with each other, their latent fury skirting dangerously close to the surface.
From British power-house playwright, Simon Stephens, Punk Rock is a violent and urgent examination of contemporary adolescence. Stephens defies expectation and unpacks puberty with an unparalleled authenticity. Punk Rock grounds itself in an unsettling honesty and exposes the extreme behaviour displayed on the stage as only a degree removed from what we consider normal in our everyday.
‘[Patalog Theatre] is quickly making a name for itself and may be the most stylish and enterprising to come out of Melbourne since The Hayloft' The Age
The Herald Sun Digital Edition: A teenage sensation
HOW thrilling to have a new production - and such a fine one - of Simon Stephens' sneering, sweaty, wonderfully scruffy Punk Rock.
This rough gem of a play about seven grammar school kids preparing for final exams is 10 years old now and is on its way to becoming a modern classic.
It's a work that expertly captures the feeling of being young and bruised, intense and tragic, of hurtling toward destruction by misadventure.
And this outstanding Patalog Theatre production, directed by Ruby Rees, shows what a gift the play can be for a talented young ensemble.
The cast is led by company artistic director Ben Walter who is a marvel of persuasion as an awkwardly cerebral but not unlikable kid whose imagination is turning morbid. Zoe Hawkins plays the new girl with burn marks on her arms. Hawkins credibly blends cynicism and vulnerability in a cool but unsettling performance.
Flynn Smeaton as a gentle jock and Laurence Boxhall as the class nerd are both very moving in their later scenes of desperation, while Annie Shapero, Ruby Duncan and Karl Richmond are also excellent.
Together, with Freya Allen's simple but effective set and costumes, they create a vivid world of boredom, bullying, swagger, seduction and niggle.
If I have one complaint it's that the extended vignettes between scenes - satirical nightmares of how awful school can be - seem a bit clumsy.
Still, there's nothing portentous or disingenuous in this production.
And it's heartening to see an ambitious young company make such a compelling statement.
Details: fortyfivedownstairs, until Dec 15 Reviewer: Andrew Fuhrmann
When & Where
Date/s: Wednesday 4th December 2019 - Sunday 15th December 2019
Venue || Location
fortyfivedownstairs Events 2 Events
⊜ 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne | Map
✆ Event: | Venue: 9662 9966
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