Newtown's New Theatre reopens in style with an amazing Australian premiere on its hands. Award winning British playwright Bryony Lavery's adaptation of Alice Sebold's best selling novel, The Lovely Bones is starting off New Theatre's post pandemic productions this November.
Based on true events in 1970s Pennsylvania, at first look, the play's subject matter seems macabre, and gives rise to the narrow label of horror thriller. In my mind it is none of that. Yes, the fact that sweet 14 year old Susie Salmon has been murdered is full of horror, but the unfolding coming of age tale entwined in a murder case has been depicted in a tender, heartfelt manner. Set in 1970s America, the music, fashion and thinking of the times are woven into the production with the use of language, costumes and props. Be ready to be taken on a musical and fashion, time travel crime solving adventure alongside the play's dramatic theme of coming to terms with the loss of a lived life full of love, friendships and family from the point of view of the departed.
Director Deborah Mulhall has guided her actors to recreate a deeply human story with compassion. Each character's reactions to the play's events are acted out with care. Their vulnerabilities are shown at every turn with a human touch. Sarah Maguire's delightful portrayal of Susie makes you believe the supernatural spin on the story with no question. She is exactly how you would think a teenage ghost would behave - the exasperated disbelief that she can no longer be a part of the physical world and that life goes on without her in a fashion. Her frustration levels at watching her family and friends throughout the play are palpable.
Sarah is joined on stage by a talented cast of Mark Barry, Naomi Belet, Cassidy Maddox Booth, Shiva Chandry, Ted Crosby, Susan Jordan, Lisa Hanssens, Brendan McBride, Natasha McDonald, Kirsty Savill we, Andrea Tan, Sean Taylor and Parker Texilake.
The Lovely Bones will run till Saturday, 18 December. Shows will run Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm, 5pm on Sundays and a 2pm matinee final performance on 18 December >>