Bright Half Life, Theatre Travels | Review

Don’t have time to read the full review? Click here for a quick summary of the who, what, where and wine of this production.

Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life is a heartfelt and endearing tale of queer love that will make you confront the uncertainty of life and love, and celebrate the beautiful messiness of our relationships with others.

Vicky and Erica’s relationship is like many others – they meet, fall in love, and experience the ups and downs of starting a family, pursuing careers, changing over several decades and ultimately go their separate ways. Just not in that order. In Bright Half Life, Vicky Then and Now (Genevieve Craig and Loretta Kung respectively) and Erica Then and Now (Samantha Lambert and Lisa Hanssens respectively), jump back and forth through the chapters of their lives. They face their fears of the future, reflect on mistakes from the past, and find solace in all the good they would have missed out on if they hadn’t come together at all.

Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum, and amid Vicky and Erica’s everyday couple trials and tribulations Barfield seamlessly integrates powerful messages on LGBTQIA+ and racial issues prevalent in Australian society. Vicky’s struggle to reconcile her Asian and queer identities, and Erica’s battles with mental health and profound grief, challenge and unite the two through the chapters of their lives. Director Rosie Niven’s decision to expand the show, originally written as a two-hander, to this cast of four has a great visual effect. Vicky and Erica Then and Vicky and Erica Now observe their other selves throughout the ups and downs of their lives.

Because it needs to work for two sets of stories and multiple time periods and locations the set is relatively bare, the cast giving cues to indicate location and context. Costuming coordinates the colours and general styles of Erica Now and Then, and Vicky Now and Then, differentiating between them by dressing Vicky more, and Erica less feminine.

Vicky and Erica’s love story in Bright Half Life shows us that the true beauty of life is its constant uncertainty, and the faith and hope we show in our willingness to intertwine our lives with others, to love and be loved.

Purchase your tickets to Bright Half Life here.

Orange Wine | Wine Pairing

White wine that has been partially fermented while the grapes still have their skins on take on textural elements traditional white wines don’t have, creating some really interesting an unique flavours. This method of winemaking can bring out unique flavours even in grapes you know and love.

My Pick: Rosnay Organic Wines, 2022 Vin de Garage “Skin Contact”, Canowindra NSW

Bright Half Life asks us to accept and celebrate all the parts of life that make up the whole, and this natural, wild ferment orange wine follows the same philosophy. Wild yeast fermentation and not undergoing the fining process whereby any sediment left after the winemaking process isn’t filtered out are both risks, as winemakers have less control over the final product. Couple that with the skin contact of the Vermentino and Chardonnay varietals and you get a zingy, acidic drop packed with flavour and texture. You certainly won’t regret taking a chance on it.

Pick up a bottle for $27-30 here.

Bright Half Life, Theatre Travels | Tasting Notes

Aussie SeasonFeb 2 to 19 2023, Theatre Travels, Meraki Arts Bar, Sydney NSW
Ticket $$30-35
WriterTanya Barfield
DirectorRosie Niven
Theatre Type & GenrePlay, romance, drama
See it if you likefemale-driven stories, nostalgia, romance
Other InfoBright Half Life has been produced as part of the Pride Amplified World Pride Program
Wine PairingOrange Wine
Criteria for Wine PairingAcidic, textural, lots of flavour
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