|Belvoir St Theatre|
I would like to be more enthusiastic about 'The Great Fire', a new Australian play but it is a play that needs a lot more work.
The premise of the play is that three generations of a family are gathering at the family home for Christmas. This not a novel premise and the audience has a fair idea of the trajectory the play will follow.
The two acts that comprise the first half of the play sadly contain no real drama. The dialogue and scenes are quite bland, there is no sense of great mystery, or excitement generated by the interplay between the characters. The characters enter and depart their scenes in a pedestrian, faintly ridiculous manner. The conclusion to the first half, which you'd expect to feature something explosive to maintain interest, just peters out.
Thankfully, the two acts that comprise the second act are a considerable improvement with some long needed drama at last giving the actors something to work with. Unfortunately this came too late for me to feel concern for the characters although the final scene was touching.