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Australia Stage Online
Worlds End
The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
15 - 30 May 2009
 

Worlds End is a gem of a production performed by an ensemble of fine young actors in a small theatrette in Adelaide’s city centre. This play is a real treat on a cold May night in Adelaide city. Playwright Paul Sellar portrays the heartache of broken relationships. This brilliant script strips any social comfort and lays bare the truth of a relationship that initially bloomed and then withered and now leaves both parties to pick up the broken shards of their lives and carry on. This is not for the feint-hearted and perhaps should come with a warning - “not for anyone whose relationship wounds are recent”. Nevertheless for those who are more detached it is a brilliant, and yet, sad indictment of the fall-out of a relationship that has gone off the rails.

The world is indeed ending for Ben (Mark Fantasia) as his ex Kat (Jessica Barnden) comes around to move her belongings from their shared flat. Kat expects Ben to be conveniently absent, but Ben is anything but convenient and so Kat has to contend with his menacing presence as she packs away her possessions. Fantasia and Barnden are quick to establish a palpable tension that can only exist between ex-lovers with unresolved pain. Little by little this accomplished pair of actors reveal the bewilderment, nostalgia, disappointment, pain and broken psyches that are the result of their passion gone awry. Fantasia’s Ben is muliti-layered. He is a cynical, annoying, irresponsible, infuriating, intelligent and insightful young man, who eventually elicits a modicum of sympathy for his plight. This a clever and pivotal performance ably handled by the talented Fantasia.

Barnden is much more likeable as the brittle, brave and bemused Kat, who is determined to step over the debris of this relationship and forge a new path with her new beau Josh (Matthew Crook).

Crook is excellent as the modern-day fop-like Josh who surprisingly proves to be a match for Ben. Crook’s Josh is a delight proving that appearances can be deceiving and providing a freshness that offsets the jaded diatribes of Fantasia’s Ben.

Alice Darling completes the ensemble as an attractive and duplicitous best friend Thea.

The action is set in Ben and Kat’s apartment, which has been brilliantly put together by Designer Tammy Boden. The lounge room sets just the right tone for a young couple with shared possessions, travels and love.

The world may be ending for Kat and Ben but it is just beginning for Director Joh Hartog’s Accidental Productions.

Stephanie Johnson