Theatre Works: night maybe

There's no maybe about it; night maybe is a must. Stuck Pig's Squealing are consistently a bit awesome and this new work by writer Kit Brookman is as beautiful as it is disturbing and leaves its audience happily lost somewhere between unknown and certain.

night maybe. Photo by Sarah Walker
night maybe. Photo by Sarah Walker

On a dark night, Sasha and her brother Tom are in park. She has torches and Nutella sandwiches, but he still abandons her. As she heads into the darkness where others are hiding, each new encounter brings her dangerously closer to safety.

Like in his recent work Heaven, Brookman writes about young adults without forcing the judgment, logic or fear of adults-who-know-better onto them. His night world hides the unknown, embraces the supernatural, but is never clear what, if anything, is real.

Sarah Ogden, Tom Conroy, Marcus McKenzie and Brian Lipson perform like it was written for them. They let each character keep their truths to themselves and never share what they saw in the darkness. This deepens the mystery with every moment and brings us closer to characters who we want to be safe, but still want them to stay in dark until they let us in on the truth.

And all is made more astonishing with the exquisite design by Mel Page (set and costume), Richard Vabre (lighting) and James Brown (sound). From its black and foggy opening, the sight of real grass and trees offers hope of a picnic-perfect conclusion in the sun, but it gets darker and colder as the light creeps into the menacing shadows.

Director Luke Mullins brings all together in a work that's impossible to look away from and difficult to stop thinking about. By holding back, it never screams its meaning and whatever you walk away with believing is right for you. Just don't miss it.

Public forum at Theatre Works

night maybe (Brookman and Mullins) and Savages (Patricia Cornelius and Susie Dee), at fortyfivedownstairs, are saying more about Australian writers collaborating with directors than any of the current popular commentaries on the subject. Theatre Works wants to open up the discussion and on Sunday there's a public forum with Brookman, Mullins, Cornelius and Dee about collaboration and creating and nurturing new writing. It's on Sunday 25 August at 6.20 (after the 5.00 performance of night maybe) and it's FREE. But you should still book here if you want to make sure you're part of it.

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Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.