The Peach Season is a glistening ruby in Debra Oswald’s crown of stage drama’s that give her the title ‘Queen of the Contemporary Australian Playwrights’. Artistic Director of Independent Youth Theatre Company JOPUKA, Joshua Maxwell has admired this crown for quite sometime and determined that 2019 was the year that The Peach Season was ripe for plucking.
The Peach Season is a challenging play. Really challenging. And Unforgiving should you not Master the intricate interpersonal landscape of Oswald’s characters and their relationship to the audience, narrative and place in their own world; which by all rights is a tall-order. But without it the carefully constructed themes and elements in their own perfectly measured balance threaten to ‘rot on the vine’ and turn an otherwise attractive work into a fermented mess.
Maxwell’s artistic and directorial vision for The Peach Season was intelligently streamlined allowing an uncluttered unpacking and examination of the allegory rich material and the enduring and contiguous character arcs. Although ardent and earnest; material threatens to overshadow the players during the indolent first half, it is not until we are allowed a peak into Maxwell’s vision of emotional desolation in the 2nd half, with his brief flirtation of both Artaudian and Brechtian presentation, that the performers match blow for blow the poetic fury of Oswald’s work led by the devastatingly honed skills of Danielle Brame Whitting as Celia. Part Puff-Adder part Pagliacci, Brame Whitting inhabited Celia’s pain down to the space that is made up between each individual cell of her being.
And let me tell you in earnest, when these actors run with the ball – they run far and don’t look back. It is extraordinary to see Oswald delivered by an independent youth company like JOPUKA, with such unbridled dedication and commitment to personal development as actors that you want to cheer them on from your seat as they discover themselves in the material they are performing.
JOPUKA’s crop of fine young actors are being fertilized with sweet sweet opportunity and have let their foliage glow – I look forward to their future fruits.
THE PEACH SEASON plays at The Launchpad, Tuggerah till December 8th 2019
Book Tickets at: www.jopukaproductions.com.au