How do you keep your only child safe from the evils of the outside world? Cally’s (Gemma Scoble) mother (Romney Stanton) is intent on keeping her daughter locked up in the house with her, lest her daughter meet some no-hoper who takes advantage of her, but Cally finds her mother’s love oppressive. Cally dreams of breaking free of her mother and leaving the corn fields forever. When she meets an enigmatic stranger (Blake Wells) she sees him as a way out.

A ticking clock, one of many in her mother’s collection, adds an element of suspense. We sit waiting for an explosion of some kind, as Cally is torn between her mother and the handsome stranger. She tries to deflect her mother’s accusations of treasonous behaviour and she encourages her mother to look after herself, all the while desperate to leave.

Scarecrow is ultimately about mother and daughter trying to overcome the menace of the memory of the girl’s father. The mother has a right to be wary of men, the father of her baby didn’t stick around but her daughter doesn’t share her mistrust until it is too late for her to avoid making her mother’s mistake.

A gothic tale reminiscent of the mother/daughter relationship in Carrie, which also featured a mother intent on shielding her daughter from the world, Scarecrow has a far less dramatic ending. Good performances were only marred by a few peculiar scenes – Blake Wells as the charming Nick is almost perpetually bemused by the two women, for wont of any other emotion apparently. Choreography during the dramatic climax detracted somewhat from the intensity as Nick did a kind of solo do-si-do around the fringe of the stage, while Cally struggles with her mother’s wishes. Gemma Scoble was excellent as the young women torn between her past and her potential future and the undercurrent of fear and erotic longing that pervades keeps the drama taut throughout the play.       

Presented by Dead Fly Productions, Scarecrow is on at the Blood Moon Theatre until 29 September, for more information and tickets see: https://sydneyfringe.com/buy-tickets

Directed by Deborah Jones and Naomi Livingstone

Featuring: Gemma Scoble, Romney Stanton and Blake Wells.

 

 

This Month in Sydney

18 Oct - 4 Nov
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Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, returning to the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 18 October – 4 November.

The iconic exhibition will see the coastline transformed into a two kilometre long sculpture park over three weeks featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.

Aqualand proudly returns for its third year as Principal Sponsor, along with the prestigious Aqualand Sculpture Award, which has increased to AUD70,000 in 2018 and will be awarded to an exhibiting artist whose sculpture will be gifted for permanent public enjoyment in Sydney.

In 2017, Aqualand’s sponsorship was renewed for an additional five years and is the most significant in the exhibition’s history, continuing to support the growth of the iconic Bondi exhibition.

As one of Sydney’s most beloved and photographed events, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi attracts over 500,000 visitors over the course of 18 days and signals the beginning of summer in Sydney.