The Cold Clear Elsewhere

The Cold Clear Elsewhere

by Katharine Fry

The echoing chamber of Café Camino was the site of my encounter with Australian war bride Grace who dreams of an elsewhere in this exquisitely charming one-woman show written and performed by Jennifer Williams. Framed by a simple set of a washing line strung with sheets emblazoned with sections of a world map, Williams deftly switches through characters from Grace to suitor, via parents, sailors and in-laws as she charts Grace’s journey from Sydney telephone operator to young bride in Britain based on true accounts from the Australian war brides of the so-called ‘bridal ship’, HMS Victorious.

The quality of Williams’ acting is matched by the sensitivity and deftness of her writing while her beautifully imaginative scenes are leant further texture by composer Chris Williams’ layered score. In this utterly compelling hour, we go with Grace on her journey across the oceans and into maturity one finger width at a time. I just wish it could have lasted longer.


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