Review: Cassie and the Lights

While other students are partying and applying for uni, Cassie is faced with problems beyond her control

theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Cassie and the Lights
Published 24 Feb 2020

Cassie is 17. Her two younger siblings are still in primary school. After leaving one night to buy them slushies, their mother fails to return home. It’s left to Cassie to try and pull together the remnants of a family.

From Patch of Blue Theatre comes this playful and inspiring story that idles between the realms of childish games and adult responsibilities. Is Cassie capable of caring for her siblings? Would they be better off in foster care? How does the justice system fail children?

The script is based on real-life events and interviews with children in care. This is brought to life by the unique and captivating performances by Alex Brain (Cassie), Michaela Murphy (Tin) and Emily McGlynn (Kit). All three characters are well-imagined and have endearing, comedic, and distinct idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. Brain wavers a little in portraying the full complexities and anguish her character is facing. In general though, the cast is mesmerising.

The biggest drawback is the plot’s failure to put enough at stake for the audience to become fully invested. The two possible outcomes are almost equally weighted as both situations have their pros and cons. There’s a lack of tension because of this indifference.

However, the creative live music and projections really bring the piece together and the cast more than captures the vulnerability and strength of children placed into the foster care system.