Cassie and the Lights has previously had a sold-out run at the VAULT Festival 2020, and performed at Adelaide Festival, where it won the awards for Best Theatre and Critics Choice. And it’s abundantly clear why, this is a beautifully moving piece of theatre.

Cassie and the Lights tells the story of Cassie (Alex Brain), a 17-year-old that looks after their two younger sisters, Kit (Emily McGlynn) and Tin (Michaela Murphy), most of the time. One day their mother disappears, and they find themselves in the foster care of Mark and Alice. During the show, they must come to terms with the fact their mother may not return, and that maybe she wasn’t the perfect mother that they remember her as. The story also highlights the pressures of a young person trying to care for their family by herself.

The set design consisted of piles of suitcases, a washing line and hanging sheet. Both the tops of the suitcases and the sheet were used as screens for projections designed by Rachel Sampley.

Cassie and the Lights uses music throughout the play – written and performed by Ellie and Imogen Mason. The music is where this production really shines.

There is a moment when the three cast members use a loop pedal, and it’s a uniquely brilliant touch. Another musical highlight is at the end when a piece is played on the acoustic guitar and sung as the three of them dance around. The music within this play is beautiful and helps bring the emotions of the story to the forefront.

All three members of the cast give performances which can only be described as perfection.  But there was one performance which stood out, and that is McGlynn’s. There’s a moment within the show where her emotion is palpable, so much so I wondered if she was sobbing for real. McGlynn gave one of the most emotion-filled performances I’ve seen at the Fringe so far, and it blew me away.

At its heart this show is about family. In particular the show highlights that there’s no one size fits all for families. Nuclear families are not the only kind of family and having more people around you isn’t a bad thing – it’s more people to love. The show is heartfelt, moving and I’m sure no one walked away with a dry eye. Cassie and the Lights has a lot of heart. It’s charming and both joyful and gut wrenching in equal measures. The music within this play is exceptional and heightens the emotional response to the work. It’s such a uniquely beautiful show, and one which I will not forget

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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