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Jada Alberts writes with vigour and honesty. This is theatre naturalism at its finest. It is at once deeply familiar and vividly fresh. Her story takes us into a world of suffering and sorrow, a small family group fractured by grief. Aboriginal youth suicide is a familiar issue in Australia and Brothers Wreck reaches deep into the personal details of this particular family story, persuading us to an intimate engagement with her characters and their struggle and survival. It is painful and moving, streaked through with humour, and ultimately hopeful.
The boldness of opening a play with a death played offstage while the only character onstage is mute with horror suggests a confident storyteller. Jada Alberts writes with terrific confidence, energy and humour. She creates characters we absolutely believe. She crafts Ruben's withdrawal from his world, after his cousin’s suicide, with sensitivity and veracity. All of her characters are richly realised, each has their own distinctive voice, and each has the capacity to touch us. As does this gem of a play. Brothers Wreck is engaging and authoritative, a powerful play that persuades us to invest in these people and their stories and, crucially, the larger Australian story.