Featured image – Briallen Clarke, Sandy Gore, Helen Dallimore and Garth Holcombe. Pic by Prudence Upton.
This was a quirky, whimsical, fanciful night at the theatre. As one would expect from the playwright who wrote the play A RABBIT FOR KIM JONG il which premiered at the Stables Theatre in 2015.
Sue is a middle aged woman who ho hasn’t been able to get her life back on track after the sudden death of her husband. Her three adult children are each busy with dealing with dealing with the challenges in their own lives and aren’t able to be there for her.
One of the few simple pleasures she has is to look after her beloved exotic plant. The play is chugging along when a metamorphosis takes place. One minute we are looking at the plant, neatly perched on side table, the next minute Clare has turned into a beautiful young woman who comes on stage dressed from head to toe as as a very leafy plant.
I won’t reveal any more of the plot than this. Suffice to say that that the play has a few more twists and turns, and decidedly left field moments, before journey’s end.
THE PLANT sits well with other plays on the subject of grief, of which there are many, such as Anthony Minghella’s Truly Madly Deeply, which was turned into a lovely movie featuring the late, great Alan Rickman.
The cast of five give very assured, warm performances – Sandy Gore as grieving widow Sue, Garth Holcombe as gay son Daniel who is going through an acrimonious relationship breakdown, Helen Dallimore as daughter Erin who is finding parenthood difficult with her very demanding and lively kids and Briallen Clarke as the free spirited Naomi.
Michelle Lim Davidson was a delight as the vivacious Clare who enters Sue’s life like a breath of fresh air for Sue, despite her children’s avid disapproval. Special mention to Emma Russell for coming up with Michelle’s outlandish outfit.
Isabel Hudson’s set design was constrained in its scope as the result of the play taking place on the same stage as Tim Firth’s Neville’s Island which featured an elaborate set. THE PLANT takes place in front of a stage wide curtain and the set essentially comprises a wide raised platform covered with artificial grass.
A rabbit meant for North Korea’s bombastic dictator Kim Jong il, a plant which transforms into a gorgeous young woman, who knows where Brookman will take audiences next?!
This plant will come to life in front of your very eyes! Kit Brookman’s THE PLANT continues as the Ensemble Theatre until the 5th August.