12.6 C
Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

‘Extinction’ at the Drill Hall Theatre

Latest News

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

Other News

Embarking on adventure

The 2024 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Brunswick Heads and the Picture House is calling all adventurers, thrill-seekers, and lovers of the great outdoors. With only two screenings scheduled for 23 and 24 May, tickets are selling fast.

Cartoon of the week – 22 May, 2024

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Garry Simes racks up 25 finishes at Australia’s oldest ironman triathlon

Ballina Triathlon Club member Garry Simes has achieved the milestone of finishing the Port Macquarie Ironman Australia race, one...

Hundreds of DV arrests across state

Police have charged more than 550 people during a four-day operation targeting the state’s most dangerous domestic and family violence offenders.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Why are we so blasé about violent pornography?

Why is it a turn on to hurt us? Recent intersectional studies have shown that online misogyny and violent pornography are contributors to a sharp rise in domestic violence. In NSW alone, police attend 500 incidents every day. If there were 500 threats or incidents at banks, or to the government, we would be in a state of emergency. Instead we stop, shake our heads, we listen to good men in government speak empty words, make a few promises, and move on. If you’ve ever lived through violence, it’s pretty well what your abuser does after hitting you.

Getting groovy with Ino

Originally from NZ, Ino Pio is proud to have called the Northern Rivers home for the last decade. When visiting Byron Bay or Ballina you will be sure to see him playing around town.

Extinction with Diva Corey and Stephen Brown. Photo John W McCormick.

David Lowe

As life on earth crashes headlong into the great extinction crisis, Extinction, a new play from Hannie Rayson, explores the stresses this is placing upon the lives and ethics of a group of humans close to the pointy end of the problem.

The focus is on the fate of the spotted quoll in Victoria. When a man hits what might possibly be the very last one in his car, on a forest road, four people’s lives are changed.

Extinction with Stephen Brown and Cate Feldmann. Photo John W McCormick.

Andy the vet (James Grant) is a realist, and also an idealist, with a secret he’s keeping from his partner Piper (Diva Corey) a passionate zoologist visiting from the US.

Heather (Cate Feldmann) is trying to work out which species can be saved on a limited budget. Harry aka Mr Evil (Steven Browning) is a miner who also loves quolls and the forests in which they live. Can his money do some good here, or it is poisonous? And what role does sex play in it all?

Despite the serious subject matter, there are several laugh-aloud moments in this show, which unfolds in a striking set from James Guppy, with the image of a heart rate monitor winding around all that happens.

While never in your face, the sound in this show (Alex Benham) is a real highlight, giving a sense of the world beyond the stage (the sounds of the quoll and the rain beyond the surgery in the opening scene come to mind). There are also a number of musical interludes breaking up the show and providing emotional colour (piano and harp) with music written and performed by Ken Naughton.

Extinction with Diva Corey and James Grant. Photo John W McCormick.

Extinction also makes use of back-projected video from David Parker, bringing the various environments of the play into the theatre. The closing video is a real highlight.

Commissioned by New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club, this play, by the author of Hotel Sorrento, is directed here by Richard Vinycomb.

The whole stage is utilised with plenty of energy from the cast and imaginative use of props (such as the dying quoll wrapped in a bloody blanket) and the backlit love scene in a tent.

The differing physicalities and performance approaches of the individual cast members are counterpointed to good effect.

I must say that despite the contemporary theme, the play feels a little dated at times, such is the speed of the extinction crisis unfolding all around us. Elaborate set changes slow the momentum somewhat, and the bedroom farce aspects sometimes sit oddly with the conservation theme. But these are weighty and important issues to explore on stage, and all concerned need to be congratulated for doing so.

For a Northern Rivers audience concerned about big-picture issues as well as local ones, this is a show which definitely has its heart in the right place. Extinction has a strong message for anyone concerned about how to live ethically in a fast-changing world.

You can see it until 18 August at the Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. All around us human life crashes headlong into extinction as Climate Change increases.
    A new play, Extinction, is not a play on words for playwright Hannie Rayson brings the crisis to life. There is the exploration of the stresses and strains of the human condition that humans must go through and about what humans will do to live and the ethics of a group of people close to the epic climax of Extinction.
    Sniff it out before it snuffs out.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

St Helena Tunnel, Ewingsdale – changed overnight traffic conditions 

Essential maintenance at the St Helena Tunnel will be carried out overnight on the Pacific Motorway at Ewingsdale from Monday, 27 May.

First Nations job seekers in Casino foot in the door to career

Trying to find something you might be interested in doing is always a challenge and local Casino barber Michael Day has come on board to help Aboriginal job seekers the chance to kick start a career in the hair and beauty industry.

Primary care nurses supported in community

Health services, particularly GP services, have been stretched over recent years and new funding to support nurses and build their capability as primary care...

Goonellabah Skate Park overhaul to start next week

New ‘skate elements’ to be introduced have reportedly been designed by skatepark specialists Trinity Skateparks, with input from ‘local enthusiasts’.