By Kit Brookman. Ensemble Theatre, Sydney. Director: Elsie Edgerton-Till. 8 July – 5 August 2017
Three times a year the Ensemble runs a play it doesn’t reckon will get big audiences in tandem with a crowd-pleaser. Sometimes there are three performances in a day — two of one, one of the other. The setting of the ‘less important play’ inevitably suffers.
So it is with The Plant by Kit Brookman, inaugural winner of the Ensemble’s own playwriting competition. With none of the costumes and setting and lighting and sounds of Neville’s Island, the biggie it shares the limited premises with, nevertheless there is no doubt about which is the better, funnier, more gripping play.
On a green stage with large green curtains and a handful of props, a mother and her three children portray their family drama. Harry, the dad, has died suddenly three years ago. Sue, the mother, (Sandy Gore) is trying to cope with little help from Erin (Helen Dallimore),