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June 16, 2014 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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Revelations [Review]

The first thing to hit you about this production is the beautiful set and dramatic lighting design, both of which contribute to a polished, professional production, the like of which I have never seen in the Bats Out of Site space before. The next thing to resonate (literally) with you is the Sound design, by Oliver Devlin, which manipulates narrative-relevant sounds to create a subtle but striking soundtrack to the work.

The cast too was incredibly strong. Brynley Stent, recent Toi Whakaari graduate, was absolutely brilliant as the eldest daughter of the bible-weary family, and Freya Sadgrove alongside her was also incredibly convincing. For me the highlight of the play was Sadgrove’s tear-jerking monologue, which really spoke to the pains of familial relationships as a late-teen-limbo-kid looking to explore the world. All of the actors made the lyrical script very natural and normal, giving a lovely hint of poetry and magical realism to the play, which still giving grounded and thorough performances.

As a new play from Lori Leigh there was a lot riding on this opening night in terms of the script as well as the performance, and all I can say is you will not be disappointed. First of all having four meaty well-developed female characters onstage is a burst of fresh air to say the least, and a joy to watch. Secondly, the issues dealt with in the script, including faith, homophobia, depression, anxiety, and abortive rights, were sensitively and elegantly handled to give a profound effect. Lastly, the writing itself flows beautifully, and is inter-spliced with audience addressing monologues, giving us a key into each character. These monologues are almost beat-poetic, or in the style of a some kind of free-writing, and are incredible; personal, poetic, profound.

Overall, the only fault I could find with ‘Revelations’ were the scene transitions, which broke the world a little for me, but I’m not sure what I could expect to fix that as they were necessary and done in low light; I’d presume that by the end of the season they will be smooth as anything. In terms of opening night, this show was humorous, touching, beautiful, and left me with a wonderful, deep-seated sense of melancholic joy that only great poetry can instil.

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