Miss Sarah

Someone has gone missing. At first it’s not entirely clear who or why, but we instantly care. A strong sense of menace is established very quickly, through effective use of a simple set and clever sound and lighting design. This is a play that grabs you by the throat and makes you pay attention.

Miss Sarah is a visually arresting show, making use of striking images to unsettle us and draw us in.

We meet Sarah (or so she says), compelling with her blue hair, butterfly wings and secrets. She is undertaking a lone journey, before she accepts a ride with the mysterious Robbo, a truck driver who seems at first to be your stereotypical bad man. The second storyline follows our young protagonist’s aunt Kate - and her long-lost father, who has only just come back into her life. Both are looking for the girl and blaming each other; clearly there are secrets and unaddressed emotions bubbling under the surface here too. We are gripped, wondering which secret will slip out next.

The first thing to flicker into life is a television set. This is used well throughout and allows the show to be visually interesting even when the theatre stays dark. This is a clever way of creating a sense of unease: we are afraid and vulnerable in the darkness, with nothing but the sound of a beating heart in our ears, and the show maintains this kind of thrilling tension throughout.

Miss Sarah is a visually arresting show, making use of striking images to unsettle us and draw us in. The production is very slick and impressively well directed, making excellent use of sound, lighting and simple props. Really, I cannot praise the vision behind it highly enough. This shows that you don’t need a West End budget to produce gasps with your design. It is inventive and captivating and complements the dark storyline very well.

Overall, the acting is strong. I feel like some moments could have achieved greater emotional intensity, but this is most likely down to weaknesses in the script. Whilst the story unfolds at a good pace, some moments drag, and the bickering between the Aunt and the Dad grows tiresome towards the end, detracting from the central mystery.

Like most of the show, the end is simple yet dramatically unsettling. It plays on what we think is going to happen and twists it, shedding new light on the horror of a disappeared person. This is a disturbingly clever play that makes use of all the theatrical elements available to produce a very high quality piece of work.

Reviews by Marni Appleton

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

How long 'til someone is gone, how long 'til missing, how long 'til dead? A rusty old Ute clangs down the highway. Meanwhile, a girl sits in a sticky motel room, curtains drawn, counting the turns of the ceiling fan. When Mel’s best friend, Sarah, goes missing at a music festival she wonders if she is the only one really looking. Inspired by true events, Miss Sarah looks at the debilitating nature of hope, focusing on the unseen victims of missing person cases, those left behind. A Lynchian nightmare, a psychological thriller, one girl’s search for Sarah.

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