Theatre Review: Blink is a Wonderfully Heartwarming Love Story
If there was one word to define The Kabuki Drop's stellar new play Blink, it would be "adaption". It takes place in an empty room adapted into a performance space, featuring a British script that has been adapted to take place in Perth, focussing on two characters learning to adapt to new lives. Of course, one word is hardly enough to do justice to this beautiful production.
Upon entering 266 William Street, I was confronted by 3 things: a flight of stairs, the dulcet sounds of Belle & Sebastian and a painted white room- the sort of white you'd find in hospitals. Here and there, there were splashes of colour on the stage; an apple, a bible and the costumes worn by performers Andrea Gibbs and Sean Walsh, who wandered about the stage as the audience made itself at home, appearing lost, bored or both. Needless to say, I was intrigued by how this would pan out, especially after my conversation with director Melissa Cantwell.
Blink is a love story between two social outcasts; Jonah, who spent his childhood in a religious cult and is still learning about normal society, and Sophie, who was recently fired from her job and is scared that she is disappearing. Jonah lives upstairs, Sophie downstairs, and the two find each other through increasingly unlikely circumstances. It is a striking tale about the real meaning of love and support.
(Photos by Marshall Stay)
The acclaimed Gibbs and Walsh have long been inseparable partners in crime on stage, and their chemistry as performers could not have been more evident while bringing these two characters to life. Each were fully believable in their portrayals of the protagonists, and as the other characters who popped up every now and then. Every emotion felt by the pair was palpable; assisted by Phil Porter's perfectly paced script, which has the characters telling their story directly to the audience for much of the show. It all made it very easy to root for these two unlikely heroes, and care deeply about each new development in their small lives.
You could tell the team had plenty of fun making the space their own. The room became a fundamental factor in the realisation of this play, with everything acting in perfect harmony to the action unfolding on stage. I was very impressed by how much impact the designers were able to create with such few ingredients, shifting the mood entirely with just a flick of a switch.
Overall, Blink was an immensely enjoyable romantic comedy of a very different kind. Major kudos go out to The Kabuki Drop team, and the City of Perth for commissioning this delightful show for the Winter Arts Festival. For anyone looking for a true winter warmer for the soul, do not miss this one.