Sweet Road was written by award-winning Australian playwright, Debra Oswald, better known for her television series Offspring and The Secret Life of Us. Performed at Javeenbah Theatre, Director, Gaye Gay did a wonderful job of staging multiple road trips, on a small stage, on a community theatre budget. Her choice of casting sealed the deal to make this a memorable production that will have you laughing, crying and wondering what’s to become of the messy lives of these lovable characters.
Jo, played by Kaela Gray laments the sacrifices she’s made to accommodate her cheating husband’s fifteen year life plan. Whilst sitting at traffic lights, Jo is devastated when she sees her husband kissing another woman. Her short drive turns into a road trip with no particular destination in mind. She picks up hitchhiker, Yasmin, who is high on love after meeting what she believes is the love of her life.
Andy and Carla, with children and dog in tow are looking for greener pastures. Their attempt at escaping yet another disappointment, which seems to plague them wherever they go, thanks to Andy’s hare brain ideas, ends as it usually does; with disastrous consequences.
Michael, who has suffered a devastating loss, hits the road to try to forget his painful memories. His role was played by Craig Smith who stole the show with his poignant performance. Equally impressive were Emily Scanlon, as Carla, who gave a brilliant performance, Kaela Gray as Jo and Dave Fraser as Andy. Frank, played by Colin Turner, a widower retiree chooses to live life on the edge rather than face a life of loneliness in a caravan park. Each performance was a credit to a beautifully written play that touched on human emotional fragility.
Staging a play based on multiple road trips requires the audience to use their imagination. There are no cars and Andy and Carla’s children and dog are invisible. Props are minimal and the set has been cleverly designed to reflect the stages of each character’s journey. Credit to Colin Crow for his masterful use of lighting and sound which enhanced the ambience of the play without being obtrusive.
Sweet Road will take you on a journey that intertwines the lives of these characters in unexpected ways. It’s a beautiful story, worthy of your time.
Sweet Road was performed at Javeenbah Theatre, Nerang, QLD
Directed by: Gaye Gay
Assistant Director: Grant Gay
Stage Manager: Kate Armon
Sound & Lighting: Colin Crow
Set Design: Grant Gay, Abbey Moore, Gillian Crow, Kaela Gray, Virginia Leaver, Helen Maden, Craig Smith
Jo played by Kaela Gray
Andy played by Dave Fraser
Carla played by Emily Scanlon
Michael played by Craig Smith
Yasmin played by Frankie Spear
Frank played by Colin Turner
Curtis played by Dominic Bradley
Policewoman played by Gillian Crow
Mechanic played by Grant Gay
Motel Receptionist played by Kate Armon
Reviewed on 25 March 2017 by Jacquelin Melilli