The Eisteddfod review + Coma Land giveaway

Thanks to Black Swan State Theatre Company, I have a double pass to giveaway to their latest production, Coma Land, on Thursday 20 July 8:00pm in the Studio Underground of the State Theatre Centre. More details on how to win below!

The Eisteddfod

Descend into the Studio Underground at the State Centre Theatre of WA and enter the bizarre, darkly funny and confronting world of Melbourne playwright Lally Katz’s The Eisteddfod.

After brother and sister Gerture and Abalone are left orphaned following a ‘pruning accident’, the pair retreat into their own world, agoraphobic, starved of human interaction and clinging to each other with both hope and resentment.

The_Eisteddfod.24.Brendan Ewing. Natalie Holmwood. Image by Daniel James Grant

Image by Daniel James Grant

Using imagination as a way to escape and experience the world they are no longer part of, the siblings play out pretend situations with each other, but as they’ve grown older these have clearly taken a darker turn. Together they act out their parent’s dysfunctional relationship, as well an increasingly abusive relationship between Gerture and Ian (played, of course, by her brother).

In an effort to escape and carve out a small piece of her own identity, Gerture imagines for herself a world where she is a teacher, complete with late nights grading papers and complaints about co-workers.

With his sister gone for increasing periods, Abalone is clearly threatened, terrified of losing the only other person in his world. He desperately plots to lure her back to their shared bedroom by inviting her to play Lady Macbeth alongside his Macbeth in the local Eisteddfod – with the winner receiving a one-way ticket to Moscow.

At times hilarious, this dark comedy reflects sad truths about the cycle of family violence and corruption of the imagination. It’s a disturbing look into the fantasy lives of traumatised adolescents, filled with unpredictable moments and deep layers of complexity.

Good art is sure to confront and divide, and The Eisteddfod does this incredibly well. This is a show that can’t be categorised and refuses to pack itself into a neat box – instead it is complex, thought-provoking and confronting. I did find that at times some of the controversial material seemed forced and out of place – put there for the sole purpose of causing controversy. At times the narrative was unclear but it seemed deliberately so, refusing to allow the viewer to pinpoint the characters in time or place, creating an even more twisted world.

Full credit to Brendan Ewing and Natalie Holmwood who brilliantly brought the characters to life, and to the entire crew for creating an effortlessly believable world through wonderfully clever set design, costumes, lighting and sound.

Dark and divisive, The Eisteddfod is a production that’s sure to get people taking.

Black Swan State Theatre Company’s The Eisteddfod runs until 9th July.



A Black Swan Lab Production
DIRECTOR Jeffrey Jay Fowler
CAST INCLUDES Brendan Ewing and Natalie Holmwood
WARNING Strong adult themes, explicit language

Coma Land-04.jpg


Thanks to Black Swan State Theatre Company, I’m giving away a double pass to the preview of their new production, Coma Land, on Thursday 20 July at the Studio Underground of the State Theatre Centre.

The child one expects is never the child one receives.

Boon is smart. Really smart. She’s skipped four years of school, possesses a photographic memory and was playing Mozart and Beethoven at age two. So why is it so hard for her to wake up?

Coma Land tells the story of a fifteen-year-old genius who finds herself trapped in a world between life and death. There, she meets Penguin, a young girl determined to fly, and they quickly become friends. But when her protective father stands between them and their escape, Boon soon learns the one thing you cannot outsmart is the truth.

From the daring and imaginative mind of Will O’Mahony (Tonsils + Tweezers, The Mars Project, Great White), comes a magical story celebrating children, difference, and the depths of parental love. An epic tale about pianos, prodigies, penguins and pandas, Coma Land asks, if it takes ten thousand hours to master something difficult, then why can it take a lifetime to accept something simple.

Co-production with Performing Lines WA. More information is available Black Swan Theatre Company’s website or their Facebook page.

To enter the completion, head to my Instagram or Facebook and follow the instructions on the giveaway image.

The winner will be drawn on Friday 14th July and advised via DM, with all details confirmed via email.




*I received tickets to this show in exchange for my review (thanks Black Swan Theatre Company). All opinions are my own.




Terms and conditions

  1. Information on how to enter forms part of the terms of entry. Entry into the competition is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  2. The competition is available to Perth entrants only, prize does not include any travels costs.
  3. Entrants may enter multiple times on social media by commenting on the giveaway post.
  4. The prize cannot be transferred, redeemed for a cash equivalent, or used on any other night of the performance. The prize applies for two tickets (2) to the Thursday 20 July 2017 performance ONLY.
  5. The Perth Project retains the right to change the terms and conditions or the competition details at any time.
  6. This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram.
  7. The completion closes at midday on Friday 14th July 2017.


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