Canstage‘s publicity department might have you convinced that the only thing on their plate right now is the upcoming Rocky Horror production heading to the Bluma at the end of the month, but tucked away at the Berkeley is a real theatrical gem that deserves its own audience. Lucy, written by local actor/playwright Damien Atkins, is about a thirteen-year-old autistic girl who has to go live with a mother who abandoned her as a baby so that she can attend special schooling. At first, her mother has no idea how to cope with the demands of caring for an autistic child, but as the play develops, so does their relationship and the mother (played by Seana McKenna) realises she and Lucy may have more in common than she first thought.
Meg Roe does terrific work as Lucy, who has moments of lucidity in asides to the audience where she can express everything she would otherwise have difficulty communicating. Seana McKenna is typically phenomenal, playing a character whose coldness and lack of compassion at certain times could make her a completely unlikeable personality, but whom she renders completely believable and even sympathetic. Also of note is the fantastic set design by Teresa Przybylski, which is utilised fluidly and beautifully.
The performances are strong, the subject matter interesting and the the story touching. Don’t be surprised if a few key moments make your eyes well up.