“Eternity” written by Sarah Peters is an interesting and thought provoking offering from the senior cohort of Hills Youth Theatre. First time director Ben Proeve has successfully moulded and provided guidance for his large cast. The result is a cohesive ensemble that works and moves as one. Together they do more than fair justice to the material at their disposal. I note that Ben is using this experience as a springboard for the next HYT production in June of this year. I wish him well for that project.
This play is essentially a somewhat static series of conversations mostly between young adults, their thoughts, feelings, challenges, fears and, above all their hopes for an imminent adult future. There are a number of conversations that strike a chord of recognition thus making them both accessible and believable. For example within the exchanges between sibling sisters Alia (Harri Wolff) and Lily (Madeleine Dandy) as well as friendship groupings of Mark (Luka Bolte), Dan (James Pearce) and Kyle (Toby Vincent) we glean much personal information and the shape of individual stories. I must say I thought that both articulation and vocal projection was evenly delivered by everybody on stage throughout this performance. A rare treat!
There are insights into home life too with scenes around the dinner table providing telling snapshots of family dynamics. Julia (Ginny Thorne) and John (Sam Ewart) are both convincing in their portrayals of parent personas. At the senior level of the family tree grandparents Mavis (Demelza Metha) and Bernie (Bennie Woodrow) signify the level of stable and comfortable relationship that hopefully awaits us all! Tying everything together is the inexorable passage of time given literal representation by the Sun (Annabel McGregor), The Moon (Cleo Kent) and pragmatic Day (Charlie Thorne). Tempus Fugit !!
The unfolding stories within the play, as well as its rhythm is carried by various groups of spirit muses who weave a background of textural commentary and portend future events. This chorus offering is well orchestrated throughout, well synchronised and clearly delivered. Of other principal cast member I choose to mention strong performances by Tamsyn Schmidt as Ivy and Lucy Thompson as distressed, decision-torn Jaz.
There is a plethora of personal issues and their various potential ramifications crammed into this one-acter. The audience not only kept up with matters but were attentive and engaged throughout. To the credit of the ensemble the pace and continuity of the piece flowed smoothly. All things technical were conducted without a discernible hitch. The lighting and follow-spot plotting was on target and sound cues were on time.
In conclusion I am encouraged to note that the audience reacted warmly to the grandparent scenes! However the empathy shown for Mark’s unrequited love for Lily won the best response. The number of young people involved in the Hills Youth Theatre group is a credit to Stirling Community Theatre as a whole and bodes well for a bright future for amateur theatre. Well done!