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The King Of Broken Things: Breaking your heart (wide open)

Review: The King Of Broken Things at Baxter Theatre

Being broken, finding a way to live with it, reframing it, feeling fixed, being broken … no one seems to escape it.

This compelling one-woman show shines a light on this universal but deeply private process that all of us must suffer through at some time in our lives. It is told through the eyes of a child, a tragic, brilliant (and, we think, autistic) boy, spectacularly and very weirdly played by Cara Roberts.

His story is brutally sad but also hopeful, poignant and beautiful. I guess you could weep for him if it is too much to acknowledge your own demons. Not that you could deny them forever … or even for the duration of the play.

Or, perhaps, you could do what this play begs us to do: allow a crack to open in your heart, let the light in. Go on: suspend disbelief and see the magic and the possibility in being broken and then fixed, even if it feels like that cycle is on repeat in your life.

The intensity of the acting, some might say over-acting, magnifies the intensity of this story that puts pain, imagination, misery and magic into the kaleidoscope of the mind of a wonder child.

A very compelling performance and wonderful stage craft surely guarantee a standing ovation every night. Then the audience stumbles out into the darkness thinking “Oh my God, what just happened … how did they know … terrifying stuff … everyone should see it.”

The King Of Broken Things was conceptualised, written and directed by Michael Taylor-Broderick with set construction by Bryan Hiles. 

Presented by Theatresmiths, The King Of Broken Things received a Gold Ovation Award at the 2023 National Arts Festival and a Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Best Theatre Production for Children and Young People following its Cape premiere at The Drama Factory.

The King Of Broken Things is showing at the Baxter Studio until May 18. Bookings via Webtickets.

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9th May 2024 6:47 am

Sounds incredible. Thank you for the almost-invite —will have to take myself off to the theatre after this review now.

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