Presented by: Tantrum Youth Arts and Broken Leg Theatre Company
Venue: Singleton Youth Venue
Season: Ended Saturday
A SHOW like Singleton Tales is a valuable experience not just for the people involved in putting it together but for those watching it.
The teenage cast and other youngsters who were involved in talking to Singleton residents while researching views on the town clearly learnt much about the nature of the community. And those watching, including this non-resident, came away with a greater appreciation of what makes a country town tick, especially one that has seen an industry like coal-mining expanding in a rural area.
The show presented the varying views in an engaging and entertaining way, with the discussions by the seven on-stage actors of community topics like mining impacts alternating with a personal story delivered by each performer.
Those personal stories showed the skills of the performers, with a tale about a housebound young dog escaping into a nearby rural area and pursued by the boy narrator having actors amusingly playing the dog and a mooing cow in a paddock.
The 50-minute action-packed show also had excellent technical work, included projected images that incorporated the participants painting a large map of Singleton, and adding places mentioned, plus photos that presented a beautiful montage of historic buildings in and around the town.
The sequences included discussions of favourite places in the town and what the teenagers hoped to do with their lives after finishing school. There were also interesting segments about long-time residents’ memories of Singleton in decades past and people’s hopes for the town in the years ahead. And a short piece showed a problem of country-town life, with a young man who had a faulty new electronic device learning that the shop he had bought it from was closing, leaving Newcastle as the nearest repair centre.
Actors Olivia Anderson, Emerson Avery, Kristen Bintley, Ares Caballero, Olivia Cronin, Tom Hull and Adam Humphrys made clear their love for Singleton, and the back-up support in the interviews and technical work by others, teens Kanyan Evans, Liam Pile, Anthony Andrews and Zack Kupelian helped make this a rewarding show.
The young team also received excellent back-up from director Tamara Gazzard, assistant director Daniel Stranger and sound designer Huw Jones.