The lights come up on The Day the Sky Turned Black and writer and performer Ali Kennedy-Scott introduces her characters, four women and one young boy, survivors and observers of Australia’s ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires.
A pair of shoes and an item of clothing are the only tools at Kennedy-Scott’s disposal as she brings these figures to life. Such is the strength of her character-work, however, that donning a shawl or a baseball cap is enough to persuade us that we are in the presence of 72-year-old Mabel or six-year-old Aiden.
Kennedy-Scott’s sensitive writing, coupled with Adrian Barnes’s well-judged direction, ensure that narrative integrity is maintained, despite the shifts in time and between characters. Moments of humour give way unexpectedly to terrible pathos and the news reports that punctuate the monologues fill out the context, as well as providing relief from the tragedy of these affecting stories. A fantastic example of international theatre on the Fringe.