The Good Son is an enormously appealing play that begins as a rom-com and ends as a Greek tragedy.
In some respects, it’s an unpretentious production, and there’s so much fluidity, delight and tension in the way the tale is told that it’s impossible not to enjoy it.
Adelaide playwright Elena Carapetis is known as an actress, with role in films such as One-Eyed Girl and Dead Europe, and plays including Othello and Between Two Waves. But this is her debut as a scriptwriter, and it’s exquisite throughout – completely natural, and evocative of time, place and culture.
Frank (Renato Musolino) is the dutiful son of Meda (Eugenia Fragos), but the traditional Greek familial ties are becoming frazzled. Into this fragile household come Ana (Adriana Bonaccurso) and Jimmy (Demitrios Sirilas), and both, in different ways, threaten to destroy the bond between parent and child.
Frank wants to run away and begin a new life with Ana, while Meda and Jimmy have a much more disturbing and treacherous relationship. The quietly powerful and consistently surprising turn of events that follows spell disaster in bold capitals.
Producer Joanne Harstone and director Corey McMahon should be applauded for developing such an irresistibly compelling creation. The Good Son rides from light comedy to heartbreak, exerting a vehement pull as it careens from the fluffy to the catastrophic with sanguine humour and revelations.
Much is owed to Carapetis’s script, which is crystalline, uncontrived and intelligent. But even more is owed to the superb players who, with hallucinatory power, draw the audience in to the domestic revolution with images and performances that remain in the mind long after the final curtain. Bravo!
The Good Son is being presented by The Other Ones at Bakehouse Theatre until April 25. Click here to read InDaily’s interview with Elena Carapetis, who is also part of the cast of the upcoming State Theatre production Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.