The colour blue permeates Mark’s story. Blue of the sea and sky, which morph into menacing grey; blue, the colour his brother turned after drowning; blue as in mood, blue music. So many shades of blue to match the story of Mark who, while still very young, has known loss, grief, love and compassion. His story, told with a deceptive understatement, is moving and encapsulating. 

Writing is  seminal to the play. Mark writes a letter to his mother every day, as she writes to him. Even when in the same house they share this love of writing and this establishes a strong bond – a conduit to express in words that which may be difficult to say.

The backdrop is an absolutely brilliant landscape, mirroring the narrative with lighting and changes suggesting waves, calm, cliffs and beach. In the same way the sounds and music wend their way through the labyrinth of emotions.

The script, by Thomas Weatherall, which was written over a period of four years, as he describes, had a long gestation, resulting in a mature monologue. Not autobiographical, it still draws on some of what he has experienced.

The director, Deborah Brown has used an uncluttered set which allows Callan Purcell, as Mark, to make the space his own, although it is amazing what an actor can do with just a chair and a small pool of water. Mark has no pretensions or artifice. Thus we can warm to him, feel for him,  grieve with him, rejoice in his happier times and hope that he now has the strength to negotiate life.

Blue is blessed by strong writing and a performance by an experienced and successful actor, with assured direction, design and technical expertise. 

State Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre

Scott Theatre The University of Adelaide. 

23 Feb- 16 March

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