Desert Devils provides Delight and Insight
With a seasoned and talented cast in Margaret Anderson (Jo), Raelene Hall (Billie), Nicole Logue (Leota Ruth) and Rebecca Widdows (Mammaw), Edward Crosby Wells’ Desert Devils leaves audiences deep in thought about their own lives, or, in Leota Ruth’s own words, “does this mirror reflect myself?”
Set in the formerly oil-rich desert Southwest, the audience is initially presented with the strained life-long friendship between Jo and Billie. As the scene develops, we begin to realise the complex and unstable relationships that are to soon appear in full force. Both Anderson and Hall express a convincing rapport reminiscent of “the odd couple”.
Leota Ruth then takes the stage, providing deep and thought provoking dialogue under the guise of being seen as “psycho” by those around her. Logue masterfully encapsulates the alienation and estrangement that Leota feels within her rather bitter and shallow world, providing powerful delivery right up to the curtains are drawn.
Last but certainly not least in their ability to wreck havoc is none other than Mammaw. Manipulative and conniving, the audience bears witness to the wedge she drives between Jo and Billie and the perilous advice she provides to Leota. Widdows delves right into the heart of this character; fully acknowledging Mammaw’s raw power in shaping the gripping conclusion that is to come. Anderson being Widdows’ senior, local makeup artist Holly Murphy should be proud of her professional ability to bring Mammaw to full realisation.
Without giving away the ending, Desert Devils leaves audiences questioning how they impact others in their own lives, and what we can all be driven to through the destructive nature of others. Wells leaves us with a deeply interwoven plot full of twists and uncertainties, convincing both young and old to challenge the very core elements of the play.
Director Alex Cuthbert and Stage Manager Winston Williams equally deserve to be commended for continuing to showcase some of the finest local productions in Southern NSW.
Thank you, IMR. I've had many fantastic productions down under. Oh, I think I might be talking about something else.
How are you liking the West coast? There's a theatre company in Monterey who produced GUYS without a license, in other words they broke international law. They don't feel they need to pay for it. Just turned them over to David Faux, attorney for the Dramatists Guild. BTW, the crew from the Guild was here about a month ago. Nice to put faces to names.
P.S. Let this be a lesson to all who may be reading this to join the Guild.