Entertaining and compelling, this is a show which should have broad appeal.
Michael Cutrupi and Renee Heys. Image by Heidrum Lohr.
It’s a known fact that Finegan Kruckenmeyer writes plays which are sometimes dark and often deal with the experience of growing up. The latest offering from Siren Theatre Company, The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to You, certainly shows this to be true. The main protagonist, Connor, reminds the audience what it’s like to have ever been in the company of an angry teenager.
Connor’s problems all began when he turned 16. He’s angry at everybody he meets, but as far as he’s concerned, it’s their fault for being annoying. His parents try to punish him by sending him to his Uncle Mal’s house, but Connor succeeds in alienating his Aunt and Uncle. When he throws a chair during detention and later punches his best friend, his Mum and Dad decide they’ve had enough. They decide to drive Connor out to a remote shack for a week, in the hope that he’ll deal with his anger. However, once in the woods, Connor meets a teenage girl even more troubled than himself who makes him realise how much growing up he has to do.
Kate Gaul directs a stylish play which makes maximum use of the Griffin theatre space, using puppets, silhouettes behind curtains and an excellent soundscape to bring Connor's issues to life Production designer, Jasmine Christie and composer Darryl Wallis should receive credit for their efforts in assisting here.
Lighting by Hartley T A Kemp is timely and succeeds in creating mood changes. The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to you contains several well choreographed dance scenes (Ash Bee) and at one point seems almost like musical theatre, with a hilarious song performed by Connor's parents (Emily Ayoub and Anthony Weir) as they leave him in the wilderness. Michael Cutrupi delivers a convincing performance as Connor, while the other cast members switch confidently between multiple roles. A particularly effective touch is that of having the three female actors (Emily Ayoub, Renee Heys and Natalie Ladyko) each playing a different side to Lotte, the girl who Connor meets in the woods.
After spinning through Connor's life experiences at a pace reflecting the changing nature of his moods, The Violent Outburst that Drew me to you ends on a rather ambiguous note, yet this is fitting for the subject matter. Entertaining and compelling, this is a show which should have broad appeal.
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars
The Violent Outburst That Drew me to You
By Finnegan Kruckenmeyer
Presented by Siren Theatre Company & Griffin Independent, in association with Inplay Arts.
Director: Kate Gaul
Composer: Daryl Wallis
Choreographer: Ash Bee
Production Design: Jasmine Christie
Lighting Design: Hartley T A Kemp
With: Emily Ayoub, Renee Heys, Michael Cutrupi, Natalia Ladyko and Anthony Weir
Griffin Theatre, Kings Cross
18 June- 12 July