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March 2, 2009 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]


The SEEyD theatre company have, over the past few years, carved out a nice little niche for themselves as the makers of a very personal kind of political theatre. They take very intimate and human looks at the small scale repercussions of the otherwise huge impersonal issues they analyse.

With Turbine, they turn their eye to wind farms. Should be a no-brainer, right? No one wants to kill the planet and turbines seem, along with solar power, to be the answer. Of course, it’s never that simple. Turbine introduces us to the Gusten family, near whose farm the power company wants to build over a hundred turbines. The turbine will lower their property value, create a large eyesore on their horizon and produce sub-hearing level sounds constantly—‘The train that never arrives’—so, somewhat understandably, they’re opposed to the idea. So, Mark Lachlan is sent down by the power company to talk them round. Hilarity ensues. As well as a little romance.

The cast perform exceptionally in their variety of roles, each being allowed their moment to shine under Spite’s meticulous and dynamic direction. Spite also designed the set, walled by whiteboards on which the cast draw their surroundings, an ingenious idea from which Spite gets much mileage. The lighting by Jennifer Lal and sound by Gil Eva Craig are also equally wonderful.

Turbine asks questions about conflict, sacrifice and the greater good. Wind power has the least effect on the fewest number of people of all potential alternative energy sources. So what happens when you are that least amount of people? When does protesting something simply become opposing for opposition’s sake? And Turbine is brave and smart enough to not attempt definite answers to all these questions.

A marvellous work of theatre and more than worth your time.

Written by the cast and Rachel Forman Directed by Tim Spite With Nick Dunbar, Emma Kinane, Lee Smith-Gibbons and Tim Spite.
At Downstage Theatre 13 February to 7 March


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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  1. Totally agree. Turbine is fantastic. A very well constructed piece, that doesn’t take sides, but really truely makes you think.

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