Reviewed by David Smith
This is a clever, well-wrought script by Australian playwright Tom Holloway, with very serious and hard-hitting subject matter, excellently interpreted by director Megan Dansie and her accomplished cast.
The play deals with the on-going human cost to the victims of the child migration scheme from Liverpool to Australia in the mid 20th Century. It is intense and poignant.
As the central damaged character, Gerry, Tony Busch was superb. He gripped the audience's attention from the outset, and maintained the focus and intensity throughout. He skilfully handled the range of moods and emotions as Gerry blustered his alcoholic way through life, hurting others all along. His was a memorable performance of a genuine contemporary tragic hero, not particularly likeable yet decidedly empathetic.
Angela Short was entirely credible as Gerry's mother, Mary, also a victim of the compulsory migration scheme. She was by turns extremely empathetic when imagined as seeking reconciliation, and suitably harsh and abrupt when confronted.
Alicia Zorkovic, as Gerry's rational daughter Sally, was a fine foil to the father's outbursts and suspicions. She provided the necessary contrast and family context, and clearly showed the collateral suffering caused by his predicament.
Aaron MacDonald was convincing as Mark, working for the agency which tried to reunite fractured families.
They all handled the well-written dialogue with skill, illustrating the reality of often incomplete sentences and conversational interruptions.
This performance had a great deal going for it. It had pathos, a little awkward humour and considerable tension, all successfully building towards the climax.