The Events, by David Greig
Directed by Lara Macgregor
Musical directiong by Roger Buchanan, set design by Harold Moot
Centrepoint Theatre, Palmerston North, to August 20
Reviewed by Mary Bryan
This is a play very much of today, applicable to all age groups, but especially teenagers and young people.
For it is this age group that is likely to face more of the mindless violence that is dominating today's news worldwide, including New Zealand - be it ISIS motivated or random acts.
Watching it, I was reminded of a 70-year-old Australian friend, who is now considering how to defend herself if attacked on a suburban train.
The Events' central character is Claire (Claire Dougan) a liberal priest and conductor who regularly rehearses a mixed age choir in the town hall.
One evening a youth, The Boy (Jatinder Singh), comes into the rehearsal and the lives of everyone in that room is changed forever. The action that follows is spread over days, weeks and years - all played out in the town hall with interludes from the choir punctuating Claire's fight to put the event behind her and to forgive. But can she?
It is this fear The Boy causes, the aftermath and question of forgiveness that Greig explores in the 85-minute production.
Singh, as well as playing the The Boy, alternatively also plays The Boy's father, Claire's counsellor and other roles. His monologues as The Boy regarding race and colonisation are compelling, but there is much more to the The Boy's anger.
The choir also plays a major part in the production with a different choir for every performance throughout the season. Whanganui's Lyric Choir performed on August 7, while Scholar Sacra will take the stage on August 14 and the Wanganui Community Choir on August 18.
It is impossible to watch this fast-paced, superbly performed, articulate play and not get caught up in it. Worth travelling on a wintry night to Palmerston North for.