Trent Dalton’s hit book Boy Swallows Universe has launched at QPAC with a bang.
The best-selling book has undertaken its transformation as part of the Brisbane Festival.
Loud, vibrant, full of laugh out loud scenes and moving moments the stage adaptation is everything it needed to be, and then some.
Boy Swallows Universe cast make magic on stage
Adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry Boys Swallows Universe has a perfect cast.
Each performer finds their moments and owns the stage as they craft this magnificent story.
Joe Klocek fills the leading role of Eli Bell with an infectious energy that drives the story from moment to moment.
Breaking the fourth wall Kloeck narrates Boy Swallows Universe with ease bringing the audience with him through his journey.
Kloeck however is supported by a stellar cast that truly brings this work to life.
Michaela Banas, know for her role in Upper Middle Bogan plays Eli’s drug-addled mother Frankie Bell with harrowing perfection. Paired with Andrew Buchanan as Teddy Kallas for the second half of the show creates a chemistry that bristles with life.
Their relationship is brutal, awful, and painful, their performances will leave you with your breath caught in your throat.
Every member of the cast deserves their own recognition for the life they bring to this story.
Tom Yaxley carries the energy of Eli’s mute brother August Bell with ease.
The dual roles of Anthony Phelan as Slim Halliday and Tystus Broz are so starkly different it takes a moment to realize they are the same actor.
Hoa Xuande punctuates the story with strong comic timing in his role as Darren Dang while the performance of Ngoc Phan as his mother and several other roles commands our attention the moment she graces the stage.
Together this cast makes magic on stage that you cannot look away from.
Be transported back to 1980’s Brisbane
The magic in Boy Swallows Universe does not stop with the performers.
Bringing this story to life on stage was always going to be a task that required attention to detail.
To be able to create this story that takes place across Brisbane in the 1980’s is no easy feat.
However, with a stellar creative team Boy Swallows Universe transports the audience back in time.
Through the use of a well-structured two-story set and exceptional videography, magic is made.
Projections of Brisbane past leap across the stage as they transition the characters from one place to another.
Brisbane’s Boggo Road Gaol comes alive as the iconic walls tower above the stage. Suburbs and bridges flash by as one scene dissolves into another with seamless ease.
An empty stage becomes a Chinese restaurant in moments.
The world stops as the red phone rings, everything else disappears.
This masterful command of the stage carries this story with its narrator through time, suspending the audience in the past.
In short, wow. I can’t wait for the movie.
Boy Swallows Universe is selling out quickly, if you have a chance to get tickets this story is a must to see on stage.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.