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Blackrock by Nick Enright

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by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
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Nick Enright's intense play brought alive by stellar cast
Kate and Michelle dealing with the shock of the murder
Kate and Michelle dealing with the shock of the murder


This play was intense. It is based on a true story that happened here in New South Wales in the late 1980s. The script is based on the murder of a young teenage girl, Leigh Mears, at a beach party, who was raped by several drugged and alcohol-fuelled boys egging each other on. And then killed by an even eviler person who took advantage of her distress after the original rapists were done.

Michelle torn between her journey and her sons
Michelle torn between her journey and her sons


At the time, the Australian community was outraged, because even though the killer was jailed, all the rapists were not charged. Disgusting then disgusting to this day.

Part of the issue was that the media whipped it up that she had it coming to her, she wore the wrong clothes, she got drunk, she flirted with them, she "wanted it". All the labels men use to exonerate themselves from horrible behaviour and walk off laughing.

The play is a classic written by Nick Enright almost 30 years ago, in 1992 and first performed in 1995, and also turned into a movie, in response to the outcry at the time.

The message is timeless, unfortunately, and still resounds with issues that we face daily today. We hear of these types of events on TV and radio practically every day. Does the evil of the face of man ever learn, evolve, or seek peace instead of war? The core of the play is about the apparent acceptance that violence against women is alright. She'll be right.

A mother says, "Your brother doesn't deserve to go to jail, she threw herself at him... Support your brother, forget your best girlfriend".

Is a mother supporting a son who is a rapist a good thing
Is a mother supporting a son who is a rapist a good thing


We all fall for the poor boy who made one stupid mistake. And then he gets away with it. All of a sudden, it becomes acceptable, he thinks, "I got away with it", possibly he does it again, and again and again. Because society lets it slide. This play addresses all this with a very strong script and the excellent talented actors of Australia.

It must have been very difficult for these professional actors in their twenties and thirties to throw themselves back to their teenage years to create this compelling tale. But they did it. It only felt a bit too contrived with the drunk boys a few times.

The scripting itself poignantly highlights the frailty of humans and our need for each other, especially in our teenage and defining years. It depicts those turbulent teenage years when kids are trying to push the boundaries and yet are still too young to understand the dangers of the demons of alcohol or drugs.
Parents feel like they are losing control and kids feel they are being suffocated and just want to spread their wings.

The play cleverly drives home the pure wrongness of "mateship and not dobbing" over what is true and right to all of society. We need to be true to oneself and the world around us.

Basically, no one should ever protect a violent person. That person made the choice to be violent. Or even worse, to see violence happening and to walk away while watching instead of get help. I believe someone violent needs to pay for those choices. They made them - no one else. We as individuals are not guardians of another person's evil or violence no matter how close our blood or friendship ties. We need to get over this Australian ethic of "I don't dobb on a mate". It is steadily destroying our social fabric. To support a liar, a cheat, or a rapist is not mateship. I feel that it is a crime against all humanity.

Should Karl lie to cover his MATE
Should Karl lie to cover his MATE


And in the case of this play; the crime is one boy being driven by mateship to protect a another mate who rapes a young nave girl and then kills her.

This is a timeless script brought new again with fresh eyes, fresh faces, innovative choreography and fresh dynamic actors. People say 'Australian's Got Talent' and it shone on the stage at this premier night.

The show was Directed by Nicola Bowman, with Dean Robison as Assistant Director and Producer.

Jayden and Sophie - cool dude or someone who thinks he lives outside the law
Jayden and Sophie - cool dude or someone who thinks he lives outside the law


Karl Richmond played Jared, the mate being asked to lie about his whereabouts on the night of the murder. A recent graduate in 2018, he already has over 9 stage and film credits to his name. And his performance was immaculate.

Luisa appalled by her brother's actions
Luisa appalled by her brother's actions


Luisa Scrofani as Rachel debuted in 2015 in Violet and been in other award winning shows and has herself been nominated for a Helpman Award. Stellar Performance - you go, girl!

Halliday shines in her performance
Halliday shines in her performance


Joanna Halliday as Cherie, gave two tear jerking solos, while reminiscing about her murdered best friend. She is also the winner of the Irene Mitchell Award.

Jayden Popik played Ricko. I saw Jayden first in Ghosted and he is just like a Penfold's Grange, just keeps getting better and better.

Sophie Stewart as Tiffany, plays just the right amount of outraged girlfriend, and feisty spirit. No wonder she was awarded the 2019 of Casting Networks Howard Fine Masterclass Scholarship. Talent will out.

To cover all the cast, would spoil reading the program, but there is not a bad actor in the lot. The director has chosen and directed well and the main cast is surrounded by true talent that support and make this play gripping.

The stage was an intimate area and props and staging was very cleverly designed. Simple scaffolding and barrels were rearranged to create total different scenes. The crew where seamless in scene changes and it never took away from the pace and drama of the building atmosphere.

This is an iconic play and EbbFlow Theatre Co have brought it alive with power.

The last scene takes your breath away. And you immediately understand why the cast does not come back out for a bow. It would destroy that reverberation deep in your soul. It just wouldn't suit.

This is a must see. It was packed on the first night and will continue to be packed I believe. It is running until August 3, 2019.

Go to www.booking.com or www.ebbflowtheatre.com/blackrock

Take some cash for very reasonable drinks before the show. It is nice that it does not have a break, but keeps building the angst.
Make sure you save three dollars for a program so you can read about all the cast.

The play theatre is a beautiful setting with easy parking down on Domain Road and a quick walk to St Martins Youth Centre.

Thank you to EBBFlow Co for the wonderful photographs. My compliments to the photographer.
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*Tricia Ziemer was invited as a guest
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Why? You love compelling theatre that triggers the mind, body and soul
Phone: 0487777742
Where: St Martins Youth Arts Centre, Saint Martins Lane, South Yarra VIC
Cost: $35 and discounts for group bookings over 6
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