"Kit Brookman's The Great Fire is a vibrant reflection of middle-class confusion, disillusionment, sparkling with wit and energy."
Lily (Shelly Lauman) and Michael (Eden Falk) don't like, let alone love, each other anymore. Hannah (Sarah Armanious) and Alex (Yalin Ozucelik) are trying to figure out how they can afford to raise a child. Tom (Marcus McKenzie) is confused mostly, adrift. Their parents, Judith (Genevieve Picot) and Patrick (Geoff Morrell), are on the cusp of retirement - but should they permanently return to the house they built (with help from neighbour Alison [Sandy Gore]) in the Adelaide Hills (in which Lily and Michael live)? Donald (Peter Carroll) and Mary (Lynette Curren), Patrick's parents, are painstakingly trying to keep it together, even as the former becomes steadily weaker, his Alzheimer's worsening. The family converge on the house in Adelaide Hills for Christmas and New Year's, each trying to project a coherent version of the future and coming up stumps (aren't we excited for the New Year!?), grappling with a changed political and social world, each taking out sadness or resentment on each other, in minor ways.
When Judith and Patrick return, they try to fix the house, fix the gate, fix the fence, chook pen — but are unable to fix their children's lives. Meanwhile a fire smoulders at the edge of the action - literally - threatening to consume them all.
Kit Brookman's The Great Fire is a vibrant reflection of middle-class confusion, disillusionment, sparkling with wit and energy. The domestic drama is held together by the director (Belvoir AD Eamon Flack) and the acting talents of the impressive cast, who imbue these characters with an honesty and depth of feeling that never feels overly sentimental, the dialogue feeling decidedly real, alive. A must-see.
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