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Strangers in Between | Golden Goose Theatre

Strangers in Between is a wonderful play delving into the often unspoken moments of a journey, into a completely new life and the power of true human connection. Set in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, we are greeted by Shane who is wonderfully played by Alex Ansdell. He presents himself as an awkward young adult working in an alcohol shop to make a living in a brand new city. At first we are unsure as to what has led him to start new beginnings here and his dark past slowly reveals throughout the show. We get to watch Shane make tough life decisions and realise not every place is like his quiet countryside home in Goulburn. We learn that he has never come across a city quite as big and full of life as Sydney where he is isolated from any familiarity or tradition.

This play is perfectly set in the Golden Goose Theatre, where the space has been perfectly utilised. The characters explore the full room and create such impactful moments of laughter and heartbreak within the space given. Immediately Will (played by Matthew Mitcham) enters the stage using the audience as shelving for wine, engaging us to wonder what is happening next. There are fantastic moments of the show where laughter is echoed amongst the audience as there are comedic moments for everyone, including jokes that break the fourth wall and let the audience in on how certain characters feel at certain times.

Alex Ansdell’s role in this was perfect. He was able to set the tone for Shane’s character immediately. Ansdell brought to life an identity crisis that people often face once you come out as queer, not to other people but to yourself - the feelings of confusion, disbelief and isolation. As Shane meets new people in the diverse place of Sydney, he learns he’s not alone and people are brought up from different types of backgrounds and living completely varied lives. The chemistry built between these characters was incredible. Considering there were only four characters played between three actors, the true raw emotion created was incredible to witness.

However, one note I must make is that whilst I can appreciate that this was a small scale production, I would have personally liked to see this play make more use of lighting. In particular, by using the lighting to bring out more raw emotion from the darker scenes to contrast from the more light hearted moments.

Strangers in Between has been able to frame moments of life changes, and the personal development of a gay man as he learns to adapt to a completely new lifestyle, perfectly through the writing and direction of Tommy Murphy and Adam Spreadbury-Maher. Together with the talented actors and incredible direction, this show brought to life so many of the thoughts that young queer people often go through, and the real feelings people can have when big life changes come their way. I have really high hopes for this show and I cannot wait to see where it goes next. Strangers in Between plays at the Golden Goose Theatre until the 7th October. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Peter Davies


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