by POLLY STENHAM
"Shhhh.... Be still! There's a man upstairs ... When I stop the music, the first person to move has to leave the room. Those are the rules as they stand..."
It’s a ghost story without a ghost. In a bare bones London town house, three siblings, haunted by the sudden disappearance of their mother, wait desperately for her call. Ellie, a ‘metro-sexual warrior’, makes up the rules; an outlaw, ‘king of all wild things’ draws on the walls; while Mother Maggie climbs them… They count hours, minutes, seconds and sheep as they try desperately, to fall asleep.
Few playwrights who have arrived on British stages in the last ten years have provoked more fascination or excitement than Polly Stenham. She is a writer for a world in search of authenticity. Intuitive, raw and often terrifying, Stenham wrote this exquisite play with children at the centre of it, when she was merely an adolescent herself.
"Tusk Tusk inspires some astonishing acting from a young cast playing characters grappling with the kind of anxiety no one would wish upon any child. Walter and Kavenagh are brilliant, etching intimate character studies with an aching vividness impossible to dispel from the mind."
CAMERON WOODHEAD, The Age
"Tusk Tusk has rich rewards for those looking for something dark and sinister in their theatre. Director Ruby Rees has done an impressive job of cultivating a (sibling) authenticity; Walter and Kavenagh playing off each other with panache."
CAMERON COLWELL, The Music
"Patalog Theatre’s production is presented with such nourishing intensity that you don’t so much watch, as bear witness. Ruby Rees directs with startling empathy and emotional precision. Ben Walter plays Eliot’s wounded grandiosity with spectacular resonance and Markella Kavenagh’s physical and emotional commitment to Maggie is revelatory -- the chemistry they share is seamless."
DARBY TURNBULL, TheatrePeople