Adelaide Fringe 2011
Be immersed in the world of Skip Miller. The man stuck between his life at home and his love of Africa, where he works as a photojournalist. See through Skip’s eyes the horror stories of the people unjustly affected by the war torn Africa. Come and see this journey of people trying to find themselves.
One thing that you can always count on with a Brink production is the production quality. So many elements of this project were well planned and implemented and the design of the vast yet simple set leaves the space wide open for transformation during the production. Geoff Cobham’s lighting design picks up on the open design of the space and fills it with life. Quentin Grant and his team of musicians bring the sound of Africa to the stage. Overall the detail invested in the production make the transitions between the past and present of Skip’s story much easier to follow.
The stage is set. The red earth floor makes the stage of two worlds, one of Skip’s Australian home and the other of the Africa, the place where he left his heart. The bare concrete wall at the back of the theatre shows evidence of conflict. The rows of pegged up photos reveals the information at the forefront of Skip’s mind. Then there are the faces of Africans, the faces that Skip has been seeking on his trips as a photojournalist in Africa.
Sean Riley’s writing skill is apparent and the poetry in his writing is evident in every word that is spoken on that stage. From the final speech to the funny banter from the comic Neville, every word has been cleverly thought out and generally delivers a message. Skip Miller’s Hit Songs looks at the search for ones self, and ultimately where the heart lies, which is the key question that underlies this whole production. What it lacks is an efficiency to tell the story and deliver this message fully overall. There are perhaps too many narratives and too much going on in the piece for the message to be heard clearly enough.
However in saying this, the cast delivered a very moving performance. Chris Pitman as Skip Miller stood out from the bunch, delivering a very solid performance, portraying all the struggles of a divided and troubled soul. The rest of the cast claimed the stage as their own and worked as a great ensemble to both make us laugh and bring us to tears, with some horrifying and poignant stories told by Assina Ntawumenya, Mondli Makhoba and Adolphus Waylee.
This production is definitely worth seeing and keep your eye out for this company both now and in the future as they are delivering great work, and simultaneously helping South Australia’s art culture develop into something to be proud of.