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Review - Shadows of Love: a riveting take on love gone wrong

By Liv Wilson

Shadows of Love

Three short plays

Directed by Lisa Hickey & Helen Strube

Set/Costume Designer: Michael Beh

Lighting Designer: Nathaniel Knight

Sound Designer: Erin O’Shea

Choreographer: Stuart Mauchline

Curators Theatre

Christ Church

3 Chippendall Street,


Playing until 6th of November

Shadows of Love is a riveting take on love gone wrong. Three short plays explore the dark undercurrents of relationships when resentment, cruelty and revenge erupt in gripping acts of defiance and bids for freedom. These pieces play out with humour and poignancy against a 1950’s Aussie backdrop.

This was a wonderful evening of entertainment and one that I highly recommend Brisbane locals get along to! Shadows of Love is playing until 6th of November as part of the Brisbane Fringe Festival. Tickets can be purchased here and start from $39.

The Curators Theatre has really outdone themselves by bringing together some of Brisbane’s strongest actors, singers and directors. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this collection of short plays which makes for a very fun night at the theatre.

Chelsea Burton who played The Chanteuse kicked the night off with charisma singing the 50’s hit ‘Lollipop by The Chordettes’. While the musicality of the entire cast was impressive Burton led the stage with charisma and grace all evening with her crystal clear vocals. Woven between each scene were ballads sung by Chelsea relating to the preceding event or upcoming drama, each time wowing us with her vocals as she covered more 50’s songs. Burton was captivating and was a perfect choice to play The Chanteuse.

The first play, Mrs Thally F, was led by actress Sherrie Smith who took the audience on a rollercoaster of raw unhinged emotions. Smith’s ability to embody her character Yvonne’s juvenile qualities while still leading the ensemble fiercely was highly impressive. The relationship between Sherrie Smith & Bronwyn Nayler playing Smith’s mother was perfectly directed and performed. Nayler was every bit the overbearing mother that you would expect in this play and had wonderful characterization with each of the actors. Lisa Hickey directed Mrs Thally F and while there was a lot going on in each scene, I found the busyness to be highly entertaining. There was a great use of repetition and theatrical conventions that the die-hard theatre nerd in me really appreciated. A special mention to Vivien Whittle and Julie Berry for their brilliant character acting and physical comedy- these ladies had me in stitches!

Moving on to the second short play of the evening, Trifles, directed by Helen Strube: This was another very enjoyable performance, while much slower paced than the opening play, it had a simple charm to it that made it easy to invest in each character. The story predominantly centred around 3 characters played by James Kable, Eleonora Gianardi and Caroline Sparrow. These actors worked well together and had very good unspoken character development. Bronwyn Naylor appeared as Minnie Foster in this short play and even though her dialogue was limited she was brilliant. I was continually impressed by this group’s ability to “act between the lines” of the script. A very enjoyable and suspenseful performance by all.

The Stronger, adapted by Helen Strube and Lisa Hickey, and directed by Helen Strube was the final play of the evening.. I have to applaud Lisa for her direction across the evening as well as her phenomenal performance as Isabella in The Stronger. Hickey was strong across the entire performance, her character’s very lengthy monologues were timed well and performed without skipping a beat! Playing opposite Hickey was Caroline Sparrow, these ladies were a match made in scene partner heaven! Sparrow’s piercing characterisation of Amelia is almost done in complete silence and entirely reactive through facial expressions. Both actors have tough roles in this play and I’m pleased to say they nailed it. This is an adaptation of the August Strindberg short play of the same title. I enjoyed the rewrite and thought it was a nice balance between the original script and a relatable modernised version.

Well done to everyone involved in this production, it was a wonderful evening of high quality theatre and it has set a new standard for The Curators!


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