Review: The Crash (Dugald Lowis and Anywhere Festival)

A poignant one act play by Dugald Lowis, following one family in the aftermath of a tragic car accident.

Two teenage boys have been killed in a horrific car crash. The family in the other car survived, and The Crash focuses on what comes next for them: married couple Garry and Anne-Marie, and their adult child Alex. The community reacts to the titular event in real life and online, the mother of the teenagers is demanding retribution, and people are even using their connection to the tragedy to make money. In the meantime, the dramas of everyday life continue as Garry and Anne-Marie struggle with their marriage, Garry’s co-worker Owen is infatuated with him, and Alex is searching for direction in their life.

The sequence of events in The Crash unfolded quickly, delivered as conversational monologues intercut with short scenes. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the external tensions around the accident, and the internal tensions of Garry and Anne-Marie’s marriage and relationship with Alex. However, it was not always clear whether the narrative timeline was linear, particularly in relation to Alex and their character arc, although their heartfelt final speech about identity was a highlight. Rihanna’s Shut Up and Drive was a questionable song choice as the audience exited the theatre following the curtain call, and undercut the strong emotion of the final scene.

The actors were costumed in jeans, boots, and white T-shirts with their character names printed on them. The only set pieces were a row of black chairs, which the cast used when they were not participating in the current scene. This minimalist staging allowed the audience to focus fully on the drama and emotion of the play, and quick transitions were generally well-defined through the blocking. The audience was drawn into the performance in parts, including interaction with the few props that were used.

The cast of five delivered an impressive performance, although the escalation of anger in the character of Anne-Marie occasionally felt disproportionate. An understudy performed on book in the roles of Rebecca and the Police Officer, with script in hand, but this did not detract from the work. All of the actors projected well and enunciated clearly to be heard in the noisy venue.

The Crash was a moving and fast-paced play about love, loss, and identity, performed with sincerity and emotion by the cast.

Review of May 13 performance

The Crash will be performed at EC Venue, Fortitude Valley, on 7, 8 & 13 May, 2022.

For ticketing and further information, visit the event page

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