What’s in the basement? What’s happening to Sloane? What is wrong with this house!? 

Sloane’s (Riley Elton McCarthy) Granny is dying so they’ve moved into the spooky family estate with botanist husband Gwyn (Hans Mueh); accompanied by Realtor friend Beckham (Ryan Pangrace). Sloane is fixated on finishing their play about Granny and the house within this environment. As the house gets eerier the cracks in the relationship dynamics between these three emerge. Featuring a queer cast, creatives, and characters and touching on themes of grief and trauma, this haunting yet bitterly funny thriller delivers an exciting and interesting watch.

This is not your stereotypical horror, McCarthy displays a unique and intellectual writing style; combining a mix of natural, poetic dialogue, wit, and narration. The strong cast brings these truthful, developed characters to life. There is a wonderful connection between themselves creating a brilliant energy in the room, as well as their connection with the audience. This is accompanied by a lovely exploration of physicality, and eye line. 

The staging and direction (McCarthy) have the cast manoeuvring the space excellently; with bodies becoming one with furniture, interesting transitions, and integration of props. The lighting by Tully Goldrick and sound design by McCarthy, along with Chloe Kramer’s intermittent haunting appearances elevate the feeling of anticipation and suspense throughout, which they achieve well given the limited resources of a fringe production. We also get lovely snaps of humour to cut through this feeling at the appropriate times; a highlight for me being Beckham’s Instagram streams showing off the property. 

Notably, the exploration of grief, trauma and anxiety was realistic and tasteful. 

Ivories is a unique and intriguing tragicomedy-thriller hybrid, with a fantastic team that has clearly put so much love and care into the production. I would love to see this play performed on a larger scale; to enhance the visual and audio effects. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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