CAGE is a well written, dark and intense piece by up and coming playwright Jordan Shea. It focuses on three young Australian tourists visiting Thailand for very different reasons, and the dreadful consequences of a drunken spree one night. What happens when they take it too far in someone else’s country where the rules are very different – can they survive?
These three strangers, Curong played by Badaidilaga Maftuh-Flynn , Bryce played by Josh Anderson and Ryan played by Patrick Diggins are brought together by a night fuelled by alcohol and pressure and find themselves trapped and isolated in a very different culture.
Strong clear direction by Shae Riches and a simple effective set design by Antoinette Barbouttis, sound design by Alexander Lee-Rekers and lighting design by Liam O’Keefe ensures the audience is focused on the tensions and disintegrating relationships among the characters and also within each character.
The three actors skilfully bring to life the very different mental and physical struggles, from desperation and hopelessness to arrogance and bitterness, their characters endure in an attempt to survive and make it home.
This play is about individuals but is does raise the question of many Australians’ attitude of privilege and superiority to our south-east Asian neighbours. Many of us know a Bryce who is not capable of respectful understanding of other cultures and must accept accountability for his actions. Though not as extreme as Bryce, Ryan and Cuong also lack appreciation of the people and traditions of the country they are in.
The play succeeds in highlighting the small percentage of tourists who show an ugly side of Australian culture and opening night audience, which was a full house, was held engrossed till the very end.