London-based Brooke Robinson is on a roll at the moment, she was short-listed for the 2017 Griffin Award for her play Good Cook. Friendly. Clean.and her play The Telescope is currently enjoying a short run at the Old Fitz Theatre as a part of their New Fitz line-up, which commissions and produces new Australian works.
The story was prompted by the real-life construction of the world’s largest telescope in China’s Guizhou Province, the building of which displaced about 9000 people from their homes. The intended purpose of the telescope to (believe it or not) search for extraterrestrial life. In Robinson’s story, daughter and lawyer Lenny has been desperately trying to save the family home.
Robinson’s theatre takes a fantastic and quirky look at life, The Telescope is no exception: a very amusing play about the breakdown of the family, it is almost like a bizarro version of the 1997 Rob Sitch directed The Castle. While the family in The Castle are desperate to stay together as a family and in their home, in Robinson’s universe they are all mostly anxious to escape to explore new worlds.
The bigger issues in the play take a side seat to the smaller nuances that the cast have included and these collective nuances make just as much of an impact. Nicholas Papademetriou as father Gil begins dancing in the background then grabs Lenny for a spin while his wife and son are otherwise engaged. The play is full of moments like this, you can’t look away or you’ll miss a small but entertaining exchange.
A hilarious E. T.-like (or E.T. Lite, depending on how you look at it) conclusion makes for very entertaining theatre. With a blend of the unreal and some super silly ideas, you won’t have to fake it with The Telescope, it will get you there in spite of the craziness.
The Telescope is produced by Red Line Productions and is on until 12 August, for more information and tickets see: https://www.redlineproductions.com.au/the-telescope/
Featuring: Tel Benjamin, Alison Chambers, Cecilia Morrow and Nicholas Papademetriou.
Creative/Tech Team: Brooke Robinson (writer), Carissa Licciardello (director), Elia Bosshard (set design), Julian Starr (sound design) and Charlotte Smith (stage manager).