Review: The Devil Made Me Do It
By Steve Amey
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Sometimes I feel the Devil gets a bad rap. Let’s be honest here, without the Devil we would not be able to differentiate between right and wrong. We also would not be able to bring existential meaning to the bad things that happen to good people.
In this play presented by Write Me Originals we witness the heroine, Mackenzie, grapple with her decisions while pursuing a career of fame and fortune only to find the difference between right and wrong increasingly blurs as she desperately tries to bring meaning to a tortured and twisted life.
This complex and layered play demonstrates that the human condition is extremely flawed, that the pursuit of happiness and dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares. It also highlights that we are the result of our decisions and we ultimately create our own destiny. However, the story counters our own flawed failings with a dose of malevolent influence from other dark sources.
The Directors vision delivers a unique interpretation that I thoroughly enjoyed. The carefully layered levels of human despair come in many guises. On one hand Mackenzie deeply yearns for fame and fortune while simultaneously seeking an illusion of a simpler life that she sincerely believes lies within her grasp of control. This hardcore display of raw feelings festered into a complex dichotomy of stable vs out of control mental health conditions.
The Actors performed a good job in drawing the audience into a love-hate relationship with both the Heroine and the “twin” Devils. I vacillated my allegiance many times during the performance, ending with a disturbed liking for both the Heroine and the Protagonist, while at times I really hated the protagonist.
This interpretation of the writers vision I feel was well executed. The presentation of contradictory behaviours and actions kept me engaged all the way through.
If you enjoy a play that forces you to think about the ramifications choice has on mental health, that rains a see-sawing of raw emotion, and removes the predictable formulaic “the Hero always prevails” scenario, then this play is for you. 4 out of 5 stars.
mindshare will be posting reviews of shows with mental health themes on our blog and social media channels throughout Adelaide Fringe. Stay tuned for more reflections from contributors living with mental health challenges and/or working in the sector.