Review: Blackrock

A dated 90s story that's out of tune with our times

theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 18 Feb 2019
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Written and set in 90s small town Australia, Blackrock is an established play that deals with extremely confronting content in a nuanced way. Writer Nick Enright tackles the worst toxicity of male relationships without othering the people who are guilty or complicit.

This production by Glassroom Theatre Company and director Jack Cummins follows up on their previous success, Clanstow, which also centres around the murder of a teenage girl. It is unfortunate that this production lacks the maturity to recognise that its themes are more than just concepts but lived experience.

Blackrock is a solid play that could benefit from being updated and reinterpreted for the current era. There are some questionable choices in the script, notably the absence of Tracy while her story is told only by the men who assaulted and murdered her. This is an extremely fast-paced production with little time to feel anything, which trivialises its complexity into empty melodrama.

The level of physical violence depicted is unnecessary and sets the tone of an insensitive production that fails to care for its audience or performers. It is refreshing to see young adults played by actors the right age, and the performances are adequate, but the direction seems to have absorbed the narrative that all the female characters are either nagging, fawning, or lecturing.