Blackrock is an uncompromising, thought provoking production that asks confronting questions about the ways genders communicate with each other in Australia, about our drinking culture and our personal responsibilities in addressing issues of violence and emotional repression. It explores certain male behaviour and the notion that it is more difficult for men to be emotionally vulnerable and expressive and the way that frustration and repression manifests itself in violence.
Playwright Nick Enright was inspired by the rape and murder of a young girl Leigh Leigh in 1989, in Stockton, near Newcastle. While Blackrock is not a factual recreation of this real life event, it follows a similar story. Set around contemporary beach culture with a group of young teenagers and a loud raucous birthday party where lots of alcohol is consumed, Blackrock explores the psychological consequences of the rape/murder on the community. It deals with teenage issues: coming of age sexually, and the ways individual personalities start to develop once teenagers are removed from their parents.
“It is so affecting and mirrors an aspect of Australian society and behaviours that seems very familiar to us. It’s controversial, confronting and raw, dealing with unpleasant, morally bereft subject matter. It’s black and shows a side we don’t want to know about, reveals some of the dirty little secrets we prefer not to acknowledge in our happy-go-lucky culture. It doesn’t shy away from presenting behaviour in full range and it’s magnified because this behaviour is happening amongst teenagers,” explained director, Kim Hardwick.
Mar 9-25. The Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre, City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale. $35-42. Tickets & Info: www.seymourcentre.com or (02) 9351 7940
By Mel Somerville.