What kind of person moves to an isolated town, shuts themself away from society, and sits at home all day talking to themself? Your first guess may be a lunatic but the correct answer is a writer. Writer's block – it's the bane of a writer's creativity yet local writer and director, Kellie Eatock has not only written a very clever and enjoyable play but has done a wonderful job in her directorial debut of her full length version of Writer's Block.
Writer's Block takes us on a journey through the writing process of playwright, Jane. It becomes a therapeutic journey where Jane's first love becomes the hero of every one of her stories and the leading lady is either killed off or becomes the antagonist. It's at this point where leading lady, Adele bucks up and demands to know why she is always portrayed as the unlikeable character. It's been creating friction with leading man, Jake who can do no wrong. Slowly, as the story unravels, and Adele demands answers as to why she's constantly picked on, we learn the truth about Jane's obsession with Jake and what she really thinks about Adele.
Will this story have a happy ending for once? Will Adele be thrown to the lions again? Will Jane resolve the frustration she holds within that causes her writer's block? With a little prompting from the lead characters, you'll be surprised at what goes on in a writer's mind. You'll be astounded as to just how much characters can completely take over and change the direction of a story, and in Jane's case, change the course of her life.
Director, Kellie Eatock made fine choices with her cast and is no doubt well supported with dedicated crew who created a visually appealing set. The story's enhancement with subtle, yet significant use of sound effects and lighting adds to the success of the production. Libby Bancroft who played Jane gave a seamless performance ensuring she did not miss a beat whilst writing and having the spotlight on the main characters of her story. Cassidy Mackie, who plays Adele, was a treat to watch. She skilfully switches personalities and radiates a special aura that energises the stage. Sean Curran, who plays Jake, did a very impressive set of push-ups to cement his stereotypical hero character. As a figment of Jane's imagination he played his role with gusto, revelling in the knowledge that he could do no wrong. But in a twist of fate, his role of undying hero is threatened as reality catches up and presents itself in an unexpected opportunity for Jane.
Jane's sister, Kate, played by Emily Scanlon provides the reality check that Jane needs to keep one foot in the real world. Kate's concern with her sister's isolation and the fact that the only socialising Jane does are with characters that are figments of her imagination has ensued in a visit to ensure Jane's faculties are in order. A little inconspicuous meddling provides the bait that draws Jane back into reality. Paul, the town's bachelor, played by Adam Hellier, turns up uninvited, setting Jane in a spin. How will Jane react to this intrusion?
Writer's Block is much more than a World War 2 romance. It's a story about love lost and found; the illusions of stereotypes; the misconceptions of what could have been; the psychological entrapments we create, and the therapeutic effects of writing. I certainly appreciated the clever script and the superb delivery from the cast. There were moments of hilarity, tenderness, sadness and revelation that stirred the audience at just the right moment. I thoroughly enjoyed Writer's Block. It's something a little different and a credit to Australian talent.
Javeenbah Theatre is a small intimate, air-conditioned theatre located in Nerang. It is beautifully set up with tables and chairs al fresco where you can meet friends prior to the show and enjoy drinks and nibbles at the fully licensed bar. There is also comfortable seating indoors. Opening night tickets include a light supper after the show giving you an opportunity to socialise and meet the cast and crew. Javeenbah is an Aboriginal word meaning 'The Meeting Place'.
I recommend you book in as early as possible, especially if you are planning to go as a group as Javeenbah is a small theatre with limited seating. Opening night was sold out and once word gets around, you just might miss out.