Tag Archives: M Rock

M Rock

28 Jun

Writer Lachlan Philpott’s tale is warm-hearted and fun; a paean to understanding between the generations. Tracey heads overseas on her post-HSC rite of passage, and promptly loses herself in the club scene of Berlin. Mabel, her grandmother, goes to find her.

In the manner of tales of a physical quest, the quest also becomes internal: the finding of self. (As a digression, it’s a common assumption that there’s someone to find, as against something to understand or something to do. It’s an assumption designed, oddly enough, for safety: an assertion of identity being far less confronting than an acknowledgement of liberty. See my latter comments regarding the play’s conclusion, and it’s clear this work ultimately backs radical freedom.)

Valerie Bader as Mabel offers a beautiful portrait of that most potent of mixtures, the gentleness and strength of age. Milena Barraclough Nesic as Tracey captures exquisitely the youthful tension between wonder and thoughtlessness.

The ensemble are terrific; Bryn Chapman Parish, Masego Pitso and Darius Williams play a globe of characters with subtlety, exuberance and generous humour.

Director Fraser Corfield’s staging is delightful, building a theatrical world that makes a joyous journey through three continents.

The conclusion to the tale happens fast and is awfully large; it’s as though a gentle river that has graciously slid through picturesque scenes suddenly comes to the cataract edge. Not that the end of the story is a fall – rather, the opposite – and, like all waterfalls that plunge 100 metres upwards, unbelievable. However, this is the land of symbol, where meaning trumps likelihood, and tales such as this are not told to dully record the odds, but to envision a type of victory.

Paul Gilchrist

M Rock by Lachlan Philpott

Produced by ATYP atyp.com.au

The Rebel Theatre until 17 July

Image by Tracey Schramm