MELBOURNE FRINGE 2006
The Taking of Ramsey Street
theatre in decay
1 October 2006
Festival Hub, Lithuanian Club
There is racial tension on the suburban beaches of Australia. An enigmatic and zealous religious leader has convinced a young, hurt and angry teenager that a backpack full of explosives will teach the right lesson. However this leader is a Hillsong Christian and the teenager is a good, white, aussie kid. The Taking of Ramsey Street is the kind of material that theatre in decay do best.
This time it’s done as a satire of Australian soap opera – complete with commercial breaks – and as a musical. All the elements are wrong, but the combination is so right.
Written and composed by Robert Reid, The Taking of Ramsey Street takes the conservative prejudices of Australia and splatters them in our faces. This is theatre for the young and angry, that plays with the conventions of the older and more jaded.
Presented as a workshop, this show should not be viewed as a completed production. The experience and ability of the performers varies greatly and it is presented in an empty black space. The Taking of Ramsey Street has some serious development ahead. It takes too long to establish the characters and a sense of plot, but once it gets going the tension develops and there are some nice little twists. I’m looking forward to seeing what it becomes.
PS: Have a quick look away from the stage, Reid silently sings along to the whole show. Once More with Feeling Rob...
This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com.