Review by Dev Marr
50 minutes | Drama | General
The concept behind the production The Boy and The Girl and The Secrets They Shared by The Elephant Collective is fascinating. Without giving too much away, it deals with the children of a psychopath and the effect their childhood had on them. The show opens with siblings Amelia and Dylan, portrayed as victims of a traumatic past, reconnecting after ten years apart. Despite being siblings, the characters are diametrically opposed. Amelia, despite being adopted by a caring family, appears to be something of a train wreck, while Dylan, who spent his entire life in foster care, is on his way to university. It’s an interesting play between the expectations and reality of an upbringing in foster care.
Unfortunately, despite its intriguing premise, this production falters when it comes to its execution. The dialogue feels forced and it’s difficult to buy into the characters because you cant quite figure out how they’re supposed to act. Amelia, portrayed as a grade 11 drop out, feels too smart for her character. Their interaction and dialogue also felt somewhat forced. My personal peeve was Amelia’s use of profanity. Either a swear is used often as a character trait, or occasionally to emphasize a point. In this case, it wasn’t used enough to signify a trait, and just a little too often for it to have any real meaning.
I imagine that with some workshopping this script could be very good. In fact, despite the rough start, the middle of the play did grab my attention. As the siblings reveal their sordid past and the things they lived through, I found myself wanting to find out more. I became much more invested in the back stories of the characters. The premise was almost enough for me to ignore the other flaws in the production. Sadly, this investment is lost in the final moments where the script just goes a little too crazy and has a fairly implausible ending.
Overall, I feel that the concept behind this play would make a fascinating psychological thriller novella. The premise is unique, the back story fairly gripping, but the actual execution just didn’t click with me.
The Boy and The Girl and The Secrets They Shared by The Elephant Collective plays at Venue 2 – Arts Court Library (2 Daly) on Saturday June 16 at 9:00 pm; Sunday June 17 3:00 pm; Wednesday June 20 at 8:30 pm; Thursday June 21 at 7:00 pm; Saturday June 23 at 4:30pm.