Seventeen-year-old Chloe (Ava Torch) is starting again – another small town, another new school, another man in her white trash mother’s life.

Although initially presenting a façade of pure bravado, Chloe’s inability to read and her unstable home life soon reveal her vulnerability. Chris (Yalin Ozucelik) has his own problems as he struggles to satisfy his overbearing father. When Chloe and Chris meet, their relationship becomes a vehicle to rid themselves of societal and circumstantial expectations. But are these factors something anyone can truly escape?

 

This Is Where We Live is the latest award winning play by Vivienne Walshe (God’s Last Acre, Birth Nation). Recipient of 2012’s Griffin Award which recognises works displaying authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voices, the production doesn’t disappoint.

 

Walshe’s script has a consistent pulse thanks to poetic pacing and literal, rhythmic descriptions of the characters’ world. Audience investment is boosted as performers impulsively fling their inner most thoughts at the crowd.

 

Although Walshe’s script successfully provides the canvas, it’s Torch and Ozucelik who deliver the nuanced and detailed brushstrokes that elevate this work.

 

Treading the line between self-conscious hormonal teenage boy and naïve, downtrodden soul, Ozucelik’s lines are the funniest in the work. His humour and honesty make the audience cackle before awkwardly realising they’ve related too much in a room full of strangers.

 

While not eliciting as many hoots from the crowd, Torch holds steady as the backbone of the narrative. Her thought provoking monologues are striking and she delivers all facets of her multi-layered character with captivating ease.

 

A relatable story presented in a unique way, This Is Where We Live has a poetry all on it’s own and eloquently contemplates whether we can choose our own destinies.

 

4/5 stars

 

BY LEE HUTCHINSON

 

This Is Where We Live is currently showing at Griffin Theatre Company and runs until July 13.

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