REVIEW: Our Chalk Circle at THEATREWORKS

A joyous response to a timeless classic

By Myron My

With a re-imagining of Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Inotrope and St Kilda Uniting Care Drop In Centre are presenting their latest collaborative work, Our Chalk Circle this week.

The story follows a young maid who takes the Governor and his wife’s abandoned baby under her care, and explores the repercussions that arise from that act.

It’s great when a performance can have a stage in the round or appropriately ‘in the circle’ here, as it allows the audience to be more involved in the action. Bales of hay form the circle and seating for the viewers of this production, and its strong scent immediately takes your thoughts to old village life. Then the music begins and the procession marches out in their grand costumes made from wadding.

Set within a culture of corruption and deception, Our Circle Chalk examines three very important themes: class discrimination, human sympathy and goodness and justice but it manages to look at these themes in a light and uplifting way whilst not ignoring their impact on society or examining how they are still relevant in today’s world.

The songs are beautifully timed to moments where we need to gather ourselves from the chaos that is occurring. They are far and few between but each song has such an impact on us as an audience that they go on in your mind even after they have ended.

It was impressive to see a variety of people singing and playing the instruments with skill and from the heart. Having said that, all the performers in this company also excelled in their roles and took on their characters with strong conviction and commitment.

By the end of the Our Chalk Circle, there was a definite collective mood of joy in the audience as we all clapped along and laughed to the final song. This creative work was an uplifting and feel-good performance that had me smiling long after I got home.

Venue: Theatreworks, 14 Acland St, St Kilda.

Season: Until 11 November | 7:30pm, Sun 5:30pm

Tickets: $36 Full | $20 Concession

Bookings:  9534 3388 or http://www.theatreworks.org.au

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