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REVIEW: The Dark Room at Civic Playhouse

For anyone who is ready and willing to hear some harsh truths about the world we live in…

Wait wot? You went to the theatre? Yah because #culture, people… It’s called culture. And last night I had the absolute pleasure of seeing (actually I’ll say experiencing) The Dark Room at Civic Playhouse. The production is a collaborative work written by Angela Betzien presented by Stooged Theatre (if you’re not aware of the great things they do creativity and theatre wise check them out immediately) and I have to say, I’m still kind of sitting here with my jaw on the floor thinking ‘woah’.

The Dark Room as a product has something to say but… every message and take home tidbit is entirely dependent upon the message you as the audience member ready are willing to hear. It’s heavy and complex but at the same time not overbearing and is presented in a way where you can kind of just sit down, strap yourself in and go along with the wild ride it is.

The play itself is a comment on the way we treat society’s minorities, and how they and their personal stories seem to so often slip beneath the cracks and fall by the wayside. It also presents to the audience the powerful and very pointed question of ‘and exactly what do you intend to do about it?’

Set in a rundown hotel room in the NT, the story centres around three specifically complex and interlocking character groups. A young cop, and his pregnant wife, a troubled young teen and her caseworker, as well as a (very) senior police officer. A very specific shout out goes to Matthew Lee for his incredible performance and portrayal of lay-about cop Stephen. A truly electric performer who really held the three narratives together with such authenticity and gusto I wouldn’t be surprised to see him walking the beat sometime next week.

Script-wise, the writing is great, sharp and oh so true to life. Writer Angela Betzien has created something truly thrilling, engaging and something that perhaps we all need to see to believe.

I won’t give away any more details about storyline or production but instead say that I most definitely recommend this production to anyone who is ready and willing to hear some harsh truths about the world we live in, get their weekly dose of culture and of course, enjoy a fantastic show.

You can catch the Dark Room at Civic Playhouse all this week (see times below). It’s also Stooge Theatre’s last production for 2018 so that excuse is as good as any!


Thurs 2nd August – 8pm
Fri 3rd August – 8pm
Sat 4th August – 2pm + 8pm

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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