The Linden Solution review

26.05.21

The Linden Solution. Photo by Clare Hawley.

“We forget the past” yet “We fetishize the past to create a prosperous future”.

As the theatrical industry came to a halt throughout 2020, many issues surrounding our nation like racism, violence and hate crimes still continued, as we’re reminded through Ratcatch Theatre’s The Linden Solution, staged at Kings Cross Theatre. A fictional yet harsh fact of the current political landscape we find in Australia, as audiences learn the harm of hope within a seemingly perfect town. A perfect flame to lead political theatre in its current climate as we, the audience, look for answers in what solutions could lead to an effective change in the 21st Century.

This National Sorry Day, the audience at KXT and I were reminded of both the hope and the change humanity must seek in the coming future to form a solution – if there is one.

The Linden Solution is a perfectly structured piece of Australian theatre that comments on the attempts to structure a perfect nation on corrupt soil. Playwright Alexander Lee-Rekers writes a contextually pushing play whilst simultaneously commenting on current political issues facing our world, some as recent as the 2021 Insurrection of the U.S Capital. Camilla Turnbull’s direction of the piece is effectively Australian with reviews of such riots and violence seen throughout very recent history. Satirically, the show will make you question laughter when the punchline finally comes to rest.

The Linden Solution. Photo by Clare Hawley.

Every issue is critiqued within The Linden Solution, whether it’s the troubles of the past, impacts of the media, or the inherent troubles in current Australia.

Laura Djanegara leads the story as a fourth wall breaking determined narrator, Hannah, who presents the story’s successes and downfalls as we follow a political party’s hopes to change its towns past to create a prosperous future. Yet from the beginning, the black comedy sets on audiences that the character’s aren’t only caricatures of various Australians but also present current positions of hate. Patrick Cullen, Mason Phoumirath and Lib Campbell perfectly represent misfit Australia in a hilarious ensemble of characters that create farce and sudden realisation amongst all demographics.

After waiting an entire year to premiere as The Linden Solution, Alexander Lee-Rekers and Camilla Turbull change the audience’s perceptions of current Australia as we are forced to look upon ourselves and question if we are the solution… or in fact… the problem.

Samuel, 19

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Brecht meets true-blue Aussies.

In this Independent production, The Linden Solution, an Australian town’s decline into fascism is narrated by civil servant Hannah Marr.

The Linden Solution. Photo by Clare Hawley.

Hannah, played by the brilliant Laura Djanegara, opens the play with a beautiful song about community and sharing, the themes of which are reflected in the play’s powerful conclusion.

The small cast, consisting of Mason Phoumirath, Laura Djanegara, Patrick Cullen and Lib Campbell, pulled off a fabulous story giving each character they played depth and personality. Of course, this is their job, however, they could not have performed better. Along with their comic timing and dramatic pauses this cast put on a fabulous show.

The Linden Solution is presented by Ratcatch Theatre, and directed by Camilla Turnbull presents a wonderfully immersive experience. The team behind the scenes allowed the actors and play to fully flourish from the lighting to the sound effects and the witty script acknowledging not only the bushfires but COVID-19 as well!

The play’s themes initially were subtly exposed through small moments, such as different character’s narration, or the separate generations represented within the play.

The Linden Solution. Photo by Clare Hawley.

The narrations after every scene not only helped the audience to follow along very effectively, however, added to its form as Epic Theatre.

And what would a piece of Epic Theatre be without breaking the fourth wall? This aspect allowed for an intimate setting where the audience was able to fully immerse themselves in the town of Linden and the characters that we met!

With a few slapstick jokes amidst the heaviness of the plot… as well as some toilet humour… The Linden Solution is accessible to all audiences due to the clarity of the script, the fantastic performances by the actors and some brilliant lighting and sound effects.

It was a truly fantastic piece that I highly recommend everyone to go see.

Chiara, 17

The Linden Solution presented by Ratcatch Theatre is playing at Kings Cross Theatre until June 5. Book your tickets here.

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