This is fine theatre with an excellent script by Donal O’Kelly and wonderful performances by O’Kelly and Sorcha Fox. Ok – enough said! Go and see it! That’s my review!
No – but seriously, sometimes amongst the hundreds of fringe shows and the big circus numbers and this and that in every corner of Adelaide, you see a piece of theatre that comes up trumps for its brilliance. Little Thing, Big Thing is one of those: Brilliant.
That’s not to say it is an entirely easy 80 minutes. O’Kelly’s script, though beautifully constructed and complex in story, with subplots upon subplots, character changes at machine gun speed and drama a-plenty, is one that you need to fully concentrate on.
The characters leap out of the text as they break down the audible forth wall and tell us what action they are seeing, feeling and watching. In monologue and duologue sequences these descriptions magnificently slip out of the real time action and moodily bring another dimension to this theatrically impressive work.
This is thinking theatre.
I’m not going to go into the story, for I want you to float and feel (and sometime battle) your way with it and through it, as I did, but to cut a long story short (and it is 80 minutes long-ish) – a Catholic sister returns from living in Nigeria with the trusted task of delivering a roll of film. She meets up with criminal, a rough-nut with a good heart who is robbing the convent, and together they begin a road journey across Ireland to reach Dublin and the underworld contacts who need the film. But layer upon layer of adventure and threads to pull are attached to this and are all interesting and well stitched up.
While I felt the story could’ve been a tad easier (not in its content, but maybe in its crafting) it does keep you with it – if you are so inclined to listening entirely, and falling fully into the multifaceted theatre experience.
Some of my favorite moments were when the thawing out in human difference occurred between the two unlikely partners in crime: The car scene at the lake, both hilarious and deeply human with the naked swimming hippies offering an escape from being tied up and robbed (of the wrong roll of film); the swallowing petrol scene, the angry Irish farmer fueling fear and more; the racing around Dublin to get the film developed… and on and on it goes.
The two actors (one playwright also) deliver performances that deserve to be seen, (the changes of character by Sorcha awesome to watch and feel), and the clever writing of this play offers not only an action packed show, but also a very human somewhat over-the-top adventure which in the end says – regardless of where we come from and how we live… we manage as best we can on the rocky road wrought with twists and turns, and bonds with others in all kinds of unexpected ways. It’s a treat to have theatre of this caliber here for The Adelaide Fringe. Great stuff!