ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL REVIEW: Binge

'Binge' is a very realistic portrayal of the true story of the lives of six teenagers at a local Adelaide high school.
ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL REVIEW: Binge
Binge is a very realistic portrayal of the true story of the lives of six teenagers at a local Adelaide high school. Binge explores the power of alcohol and how it’s used by young people to meet their needs and make them feel more acceptable, more lovable, more desirable and more popular and powerful. The initial fun and allure of alcohol entrances young people but usually ends in a very bad way, and Binge presents this shocking aftermath. The opening of Binge is powerful and there is a lot of loud yelling and screaming as the momentum builds. The actors explore their individual needs that motivate them to Binge drink. “Alcohol is my friend” is one very disturbing line from the opening scene that slaps you in the face and grabs your attention! There are several scenes in this play that explore the fact that teachers in high school class rooms struggle to maintain control of their classes. There is minimal respect shown by the students towards Anna (Pip Ewens), the youth worker who tries desperately to intervene and to help this struggling bunch of young individuals. The stage changes many many times during the show and several of the scenes are shown sequentially as the story unfolds. The central character in the story is Troy (Stefan Durski). He is the ring leader of the group and supplies the alcohol to the bunch of friends. Whilst they are intoxicated, he abuses them in every possible way - physically, mentally and verbally" however he is suffering deeply from his own personal loss and trauma. He was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father and his mother eventually committed suicide. Troy’s girlfriend Kate (Melissa Shammall) is blindly in love with Troy and eventually gets pregnant – her own mother was a teenager when she became pregnant with Kate. Tori Biggs as Laura is strong and addresses the painful issues of using sex to obtain alcohol and dealing with her rape by her uncle. Mel (Laura Kettle ) is the victim of drink spiking followed by rape at the hands of Troy after a night of Binge drinking and it’s a deeply disturbing scene to witness. All of the scenes roll nicely into each other" however the props are minimal and the stage is bare for most of the time. The lighting is simplistic but effective and it’s the starkness of both the stage and lighting that sets this story so well. In summary, Binge is an excellent drama that address all of the big issues affecting today’s youth – peer group pressure, violence, aggression, low self esteem, suicide and teenage pregnancy! It’s a show that all parents with teenagers should see. It’s confrontational, contains a lot of course language, has strong sexual references and incidental nudity, but tells it how it is. Binge portrays the shocking reality that society must address sooner rather than later and it’s the tragic ending that leaves you feeling deeply affected and determined to make a change. Title of Event: Binge Artists: Laura Kettle, Tori Biggs, Jenna Sutch, Melissa Shammall, Pip Ewens, Andrew Majcen and Stefan Durski. Written and directed by Michael Edgecomb. Venue: The Adelaide Town Hall (Meeting Room) Show times: 8pm Show dates: March 1 – March 22 2009 Cost of tickets:$15.00 for adults. $12,00 concession

Anne-Marie Quinn

Wednesday 4 March, 2009

About the author

Anne-Marie is born and bred in Adelaide and has been a keen supporter and follower of the arts both locally and internationally. Through her Adelaide based business she has had the opportunity to explore the arts internationally but believes what Australia has to offer is just as good if not better. She is an avid follower of the Fringe and has been attending and reviewing shows since its early days in Adelaide.