Monday, 3 September 2012
The Hiding Place
atyp Under the Wharf and The Night Whisperer present
The Hiding Place: August 30- September 15, 2012
by Kendall Feaver, directed by Kai Raisbeck
Costume & Set Designer: Gez Xavier Mansfield
Lighting Designer: Sara Swersky
Sound Designer: Nate Edmondson
Assistant Director: Liz Arday
Stage Manager: Jeremy Page
Producer: Mackenzie Steele
Emily | Michele Durman
Patrick | Philippe Klaus
Nana | Abi Rayment
Ross | Paul Hooper
The Hiding Place follows the story of Emily who has lived her entire life from the age of six in a room in her Nana's house. She lives her life through her drawings and the six books she owns, spending her days watching the shifting light and the dust as it floats through the air. This is her world, this is all she knows and although she ages every year she believes she is still a ten year old girl. This belief is created and facilitated through her Nana who, through a misguided attempt to keep her safe, will not allow Emily to venture outside. Later we discover this fear steams from an inability to protect her own daughter, Emily's mother. All appears to be going to plan until the night a young man called Patrick accidentally stumbles through Emily's open window and opens her eyes to a world she had been lead to believe was evil and dirty.
Over time Emily begins to trust Patrick and he slowly begins to help her understand that she's not a little girl anymore. This comes to a head the night Patrick brings over a mirror and Emily sees herself for the first time in over 10 years. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking scene as Emily initially believes she sees her mother before she realises it is her own reflection. She begins to question what her Nana has told her and desires a life outside of her four walls.
Combined with this is a second story line between Patrick and his father Ross. Their turbulent relationship unfolds and a mutual distrust hampers any chance of understanding. There is a beautiful moment near the end when Ross chooses to believe his son and agrees to help him rescue the girl he can't bring himself to leave. The father- son dynamic is entirely believable- at times quite hilariously so.
The Hiding Place is a beautifully written play with an excellent cast. Emily is innocently endearing and the comic timing between her and Patrick is perfect. You really feel for Nana as she struggles with her own feelings towards loosing her daughter, whom Emily resembles so clearly. In the end Emily makes the decision to run away with Patrick but before she can, she confesses everything to her Nana, finally voicing what she has wanted the whole time- her freedom. In the end she saves herself and we see her caring for her Nana the way that she once cared for her.
With well developed characters and potent lighting and sound, The Hiding Place is a well rounded and brilliantly executed play.