ASTUTE handling by director Brendan O’Connell turned a flawed play about the impact of a violent crime on a close-knit community into an engrossing and moving experience.
Blackrock was a 1995 “adult” rewrite by Nick Enright of A Property of the Clan, commissioned from him four years earlier by Newcastle’s Freewheels Company as a work for high school audiences. Both plays look at the issues that were raised by the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl after a Newcastle area beach party.
A Property of the Clan is a tighter and more focused play than Blackrock , with the adult characters that have been added to the latter’s story not particularly convincing. But this production worked for me, largely because O’Connell gave the tale a more leisurely pace.
The stage was covered with sand and the characters often came to this beach to reflect on what was happening in their lives. Previous productions I have seen have rushed through the text in 90 minutes. This was almost 30 minutes longer, and the pauses in conversations and silences of solitary figures revealed a lot about the state of mind of teenagers and parents alike.
The cast was also the best I have seen in the play.
Dean Blackford made agonisingly real the demons that plague 17-year-old Jared, after seeing mates at a party sexually assaulting a girl later found dead. He can’t connect with single mother Diane (a down-to-earth Karen Lantry), who has her own communication problems as a result of a breast-cancer diagnosis, he breaks up with supportive girlfriend Rachel (Rachel Jackett), who is a member of a well-to-do family on the other side of the harbour, and his blokey relationship with long-time best mate Ricko (a charismatically dangerous figure in Ben Freeman’s performance) has hit jagged rocks in the wake of the disastrous night.
The author of the play/book ?Blackrock?, Nick Enright has written a very dramatic play towards today?s society. During the book he uses lots of techniques to make it relate to the audience, therefore making it more appealing to the readers. Friendship is also a major factor in the book, ?Blackrock?. Throughout this play, many different attitudes and values are brought up. It is very appealing towards my age bracket because of its relevancy. In the beginning, Jared is seen as a party animal and just one of the lads, this all starts to change after the incident the night of the partying Blackrock.
Before the party, Jared was all about girls, grog and mates. After the incident he changes significantly, he doesn?t want to go to school and face the friends of the murdered girl that he could of helped, he feels guilty for not stepping in and stopping her having her virginity stolen form her, he now has to live with the image of Tracy being raped in his mind forever. He also acts differently when he is accused of the murder of Tracy.
In the book, the boy?s attitude towards women i... Read Full Essay Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper