I had high expectations for this piece of new writing, put on by Theatre with Teeth, and was not disappointed. As a writing and directing debut from both Eva Carroll and Josie Farmer, “Bright” was of an incredibly high standard. The play follows a family of five, focusing in particular on the three siblings as they try to accept and deal with their mother’s illness. The beauty of the play lay in Eva’s ability to write about such a topic with a refreshing light-hearted quality, injecting the play with comedy as well as heart-felt emotion. The audience experienced these transient emotions with the actors and were made to both laugh and cry in equal measure.
Such strong character portrayals allowed us to be fully absorbed into this world. The three siblings, played by Sally Wood, Stan Glendinning and Will Pinhey, enjoyed a believably charismatic relationship so often seen in families. They managed to really capture nuances, frustrations and love through the smallest of verbal and non-verbal interactions. The audience is never introduced to the mother as a character; we only hear of her. This clever decision allowed the audience to understand the effects of illness in the family rather than the actual illness itself. Jacob Hutchings gave us a wonderful interpretation of a father struggling to keep track of his kids and refusing to believe his wife is as sick as she is.
refreshing light-hearted quality, injecting the play with comedy as well as heart-felt emotion
A natural yet simplistic set provided the perfect backdrop and did not detract from the power of the dialogue and the acting. The ending of the play was ambiguous but, instead of confusing audiences, it left us with a sense of hope, seeing the siblings finally pull together as a three. Bright teaches us of the vulnerability of individuals; that it is okay to be afraid and you can always find support and thus hope, through others.