Extinction @ The Playhouse
Extinction by Hannie Rayson is a play to make you think about where we are as a country facing the extinction of many of our native species but particularly the Tiger Quoll. And if you’ve ever hit an animal with your car you’ll relate to the panic experienced and the dilemmas faced as to whether you should rescue it, put it out of its misery or leave the animal by the side of the road.
Colin Lane as the mining magnate Harry, rescues one and brings it to the local vet where Ngaire Dawn Fair as Piper, the American research scientist is minding the surgery while the local vet Brett Cousins as Andy is saving a cow with an unborn dead calf that has to be removed. And the scene is set on a dark and stormy night for the kind of dilemma often faced by those intent on saving the animal and the realities of the situation.
Into the mix comes Andy’s sister Natasha Herbert as Helen Dixon Brown, the Ecologist Head of The Cape Institiute.
Four strong characters well developed by each actor who present a dynamic that is a little unexpected but pushing all of our buttons as we face global warming, pollution, diminution in our native species and frustrations with government not facing the issues we see as important.
Can we save the Tiger Quoll? Well I’m reliably informed that there’s a breeding program at Mulligan’s Flat that is trying to, which was almost a relief to hear at the after party. But this play certainly was a catalyst for us all to be more aware and more pro-active.
The staging was superb with the lighting design, photography and moving images in the very capable hands of David Parker. His images were exceptional and using them as the ‘wallpaper’ to take us from the Ottways to the boardroom inspired. With direction by Nadia Tass and the writing of Hannie Rayson, Extinction is excellent theatre that tackled issues we all need to deal with.