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Tender Napalm

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by Tayla Giles (subscribe)
Tayla Giles
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Evocative. Exploratory. Explicit. Explosive. These words don't even begin to come close to capturing the essence of Tender Napalm, the latest surrealist spectacle to take to the stage at Holden Street Theatres.

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


At first glance, it's a struggle to decipher the themes, messages and storyline Tender Napalm depicts an LSD-induced fever dream, a couple stranded on a deserted island, or a sexually frustrated director's theatrical fantasy. But deeper beyond the surface-level insanity lies a sane truth about relationships, love and the human psyche.

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


Upon stepping into the theatre and the world of Tender Napalm, audiences are immediately introduced to Man and Woman: two beings entwined physically, sexually and emotionally. A seemingly romantic storyline soon twists and turns into a chaotic rollercoaster ride of sexual escapes, verbal attacks and physical battles: all of which end in a retreat back to one another in the name of "love".

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


One moment you're in a faraway tropical island surrounded by monkeys. One moment you're back to the relatable events of everyday life. If there's one thing for sure, reality may not be all what it seems as we peek through the looking glass at the couple's escapist fantasy. Tender Napalm transports audiences on a surrealist, imaginative journey through the confronting cycle of love: a kind of love that goes beyond the bedroom to reveal hidden, secret parts of the mind.

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


Director Rachael Williams has reworked Philip Ridley's 2011 stage play with creative vigour, allowing the show to effortlessly slide onto the Adelaide theatre scene in the midst of Adelaide Cabaret Festival where the weird and wonderful is celebrated more than ever.

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


Actors Carol Lawton and Mark Healy command the stage and capture the audience's attention from beginning to end, leaving audiences wondering just how the 80-minute performance flew by so fast without the need for an interval. Lawton and Healy keep audiences on the edge of their seats with sporadic movements that utilise the entire stage, emulating a kind of spontaneity that cannot be anticipated. But it is the talented duo's raw emotion and authentic expressionism that reels audiences in, allowing individuals to relate, grieve and mourn for the harsh reality that lies behind the absurd insanity.

Production Photos by Matthew Abregana


High-impact, high-intensity and high-concept, Tender Napalm ends the same way it begins: with an eloquently haunting monologue that ties the production together with a poetic touch.

"I could squeeze a bullet between those lips. Point first. Press it between those rosebud lips. Prise it between your pearly whites. Gently. I wouldn't break a single tooth."

Tender Napalm is currently showing at Holden Street Theatres Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm nightly from 19 - 29 June, so be sure to snap up your tickets for the last few remaining shows here.

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When: Wednesday - Saturday 8pm
Phone: 08 8223 1450
Where: Holden Street Theatres, 164 South Road, Torrensville, SA, 5031
Cost: Preview: $23.00 | General Admission: $28.00 | Concession: $25.00 | Group 6 :$25.00
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