Blackout Songs

Red Stitch Actor’s Theatre

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Red Stitch Theatre’s production of ‘Blackout Songs’ is a powerful representation of the affects alcoholism and mental illness.  Sarah Sutherland and Jack Twelvetree play a couple who both experience addiction. Each scene portrays a different scenario related to their experiences after drinking and having a mental breakdown. The show starts comedic and light-hearted. The male character is forgetful, while the female goes along with it, thinking it’s harmless.

As the show progresses, the tension intensifies. Scenes shift from light-hearted to highly intense, reflecting the play’s title, “Blackouts.” The male character becomes increasingly confused about his surroundings and circumstances, leading to fits of rage. While it can be hard to discern who is suffering from addiction, it becomes clear by the end that both characters are feeling the effects of alcohol addiction.

The two actors gave their all, especially Jack Twelvetree, who grew increasingly full of anger and rage as the show progressed. His intensity in the role was powerful and became more engaging throughout. Sarah Sutherland’s performance was equally engaging. She portrayed confusion and frustration with her husband’s behavior, making the audience feel her pain and concern for her well-being. The onstage costume changes were very effective, signaling new scenes and tone shifts for each character. The return to the first scene at the end provided an epic conclusion, giving the show a full-circle moment.

Tom Healey’s direction is powerful and makes the audience feel fully immersed in the production.  The high-octane projections and sound effects effectively drew us into the characters’ minds, allowing us to feel what they were experiencing.

Blackout songs closes June 30 2024.

Matthew Sheahan

Matthew Sheahan

Matthew Sheahan is an active performer on the community theatre scene having performed in musical theatre for almost 20 years all over Melbourne. He is also a vocal coach and has also written and performed his own cabaret shows.
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