Theatre: Colder

Colder is a play about love and loss that will make your heart flutter and break whizzing from scene to scene.

Based on the real-life disappearance of Simon Knight in 2005, Colder, uses its factual basis to root you firmly in day-to-day life while transcending the mundane.

The show begins with the mother (Caroline Lee) describing the experience of losing her son, David (Charles Purcell) in Disneyland. This opening is a striking juxtaposition of fantasy meeting terror. Lost amoungst a fake world of happy smiling faces, fear and tragedy engulf a worried mother and tear at the saccharine parade of cartoon characters.

The show jumps through the chronology of David and his mother’s experiences at a breakneck pace. This creates a stimulating mosaic of worry, love, and hope that will spin your head around. Flitting from the security office of Disneyland to the apartment of a sleazy Sydney hookup, you become a fly on the wall to the most powerful and telling experiences of the mother and son.

The Australian setting adds a broad sense of familiarity to the story. Amongst the prose and eloquent explanations of grief and hope, there is a soul of truth and plausibility throughout the performance. Its verisimilitude is always apparent tethering the remarkable tale to reality.

The staging while very simple is effective, primarily due to the immersive sounds by Chriss Wenn and the imaginative and unusual lighting by Bronwyn Pringle. The stage is transformed through these mediums and the actor’s talent into a light-filled kitchen, brimming with Tupperware, a trendy city apartment overlooking the Mardi Gras parade, to a bed well used for days cradling lovers.

The performance is striking and moves with intelligent pace and emotion mainly due to the writing by Lachlan Philpott.

Without giving away too much I’d have to say if you have ever loved someone and felt them slipping away, this is a play for you. If you’ve lost, but can’t shake the hope they will return, this play is also for you. If you have found yourself a stranger trusted with the intimacy of another, then this play is definitely for you. The themes and experiences resonate with passion and those with an affinity for life.

The show is moving and never seems to fall out of momentum or interest. A real journey in the shoes of another, providing insight and wonder to the lives of others.

9/10 casual lovers.


13 March – 8 April

Q&A Session following performance on Thursday 29 March

Tickets and more information can be found here.


Photo Credit: Teresa Noble

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