• Kirsty McNeil and Cynthia Banham

    Kirsty McNeil and Cynthia Banham

  • Frank McKone and Len Power

    Frank McKone and Len Power

  • Kirsty Simpson, Tom Davis and Caroline Stacey

    Kirsty Simpson, Tom Davis and Caroline Stacey

  • Julie and Joe Fenech

    Julie and Joe Fenech

  • Joe McCarroll and Imogen Jacobs

    Joe McCarroll and Imogen Jacobs

  • Christiana Nowak and Ron Kitchen

    Christiana Nowak and Ron Kitchen

  • Marya Glyn-Daniel, Liz Bradley and Jim Adamik

    Marya Glyn-Daniel, Liz Bradley and Jim Adamik

Chain Bridge @ The Street Theatre

22 November 2015

Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects Buda and Pest across the Danube and was opened in 1849. And in that time was only the second permanent structure to cross the Danube.

It is also the name for the play by Tom Davis directed by Caroline Stacey at The Street Theatre and the bridge is I suppose the metaphor for bridging the then and now for a group who came to Australia and are still coming to terms with the horror of the war they experienced in Budapest and the Australian born children intent on finding the truth in the stories they’ve been told.

Produced to use the past as flash backs amongst the spare scaffolding of the set and with exceptional lighting to create the atmosphere there are many harrowing stories told in this suburban Melbourne home where the Budapest truths and secrets are played out under duress for the protagonists but apparently essential for the son trying to write a book. That this is performed over a rather awful fish soup, copious red wine and not so fresh bread does not mitigate the intensity of the son and his wife to get to the truth, or a reasonable version of it.

The ensemble is exceptional, the demands of the script require all manner of language skills, dancing ability and to play other parts without the benefit of costume change while convincing the audience so they don’t get lost in the construct. The sound and lighting, the set design and the intricacies of the choreography integral to the play are handled well and the pain of the story, the secrets and lies revealed, demand much consideration of those still suffering decades after the war and how as New Australians they were expected to ‘get over it’.We didn't know what they endured and still have trouble processing it but it will only be through this medium that objectivity will prevail.