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Adelaidenow (Sunday Mail)
Worlds End
The Bakehouse Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
15 May 2009
 

Wafer-thin though the plot of Worlds End may be, this Australian premiere from Accidental Productions has much to commend it. First and foremost is a commanding performance from Mark Fantasia as the volatile Ben, striving quixotically to reconcile, on his own terms, the break-up with his partner of two years, Kat. Ben just won't let go, and Fantasia runs a psychological marathon, trying every trick in the emotional book to keep her, to woo her back, to trick her into staying, to cajole, all to no avail. As Kat, Jessica Barnden gives a solid performance of her own, giving as good as she gets - and she gets a lot - and with a genuine tear or two.

Worlds End is wordy, as befits the artistic temperament, Ben being an author (with writer's block, natch) and Kat a painter. But it is well written and rarely prolix, even if Ben's sustained eloquence in the face of the severest provocation is a bit of a stretch. This diffusion extends to the secondary characters of Kat's friend Thea (Alice Darling), and the new man, Josh (Matthew Crook). A firm directorial hand is thus needed to keep things balanced. Joh Hartog has not entirely succeeded here, with Darling's performance in particular far too prominent, supermodel promenades and all - though I did like her fishnets.

Peter Burdon