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Review: SOLACE at Ara Darling Quarter Theatre

Review by Nola Bartolo


SOLACE although it is a short piece, is a captivating and thought-provoking co-production between Milk Crate Theatre and Box of Birds / Stalker Theatre that delves into the depths of human desires for comfort. It explores the psychological and physiological impulses that drive us to seek solace and the consequences when we are unable to find it. The production skilfully combines text, movement, sound, and interactive digital projection to create a multi-dimensional experience. The use of these various elements helps to convey the complexity and the layers that sit beneath our cravings for comfort, while also shedding light on the reasons behind them. What do you turn to for comfort? Let’s face it we all have something. One of the central questions posed by SOLACE is why we are so drawn to seeking comfort. Is it a means of avoiding being alone with ourselves, or do we simply need a respite from the overwhelming pressures of the modern world? This exploration of the human condition is both confronting and relatable, inviting the audience to reflect on their own quest for solace. Why even the directors invite you up on the stage after the performance to ‘play with the technology’ The performance seamlessly weaves together humour and irreverence with moments of darkness and light. This contrast adds depth to the narrative, highlighting the complexities of our desires and the emotions that accompany them. The performers, with their lived experience of homelessness and mental health issues, bring authenticity and rawness to this worthy production, further enhancing its impact. SOLACE is a bold and innovative work that pushes the boundaries of inclusive performance. It breaks new ground in terms of its use of interactive digital projection, physical theatre, and its focus on the lived experiences of marginalised individuals. By giving voice to those who are often unheard, SOLACE challenges societal norms and encourages a deeper understanding and empathy for those who struggle to find comfort in their lives. Overall, SOLACE is a compelling and profound production that invites audiences to contemplate their own pursuit of comfort. With its unique blend of storytelling techniques and powerful performances, it offers a transformative experience that lingers long after the show ends.


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