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Elling

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November 14, 2012
6:00 am

Elling has spent his 40 years sheltered in a protective cocoon by his overbearing mother. So what will happen to him when tragedy strikes and he is all of a sudden alone?

The stage adaptation by the Melbourne Theatre Company of the Oscar-nominated Norwegian film Elling will have you questioning how much protection from the horrors of the world is too much.

Thrown from his home to an institution then out into the real world, Elling must learn to fend for himself, in the process striking up an unlikely friendship with fellow battler and new flatmate Kjell. With only each other for support, the pair must learn to swim, before they get too out of their depths.

This black comedy, guided by the steady hand of director Pamela Rabe, really comes into its own in the second act as the men get a taste of what the world can really be all about.

Taking mental illness out from behind closed doors and into the real world can be tricky work from any actor, but Darren Gilshenan balances Elling’s Asberger’s-like traits with honesty and truth. Hayden Spencer also puts on a compelling performance as Elling’s polar-opposite and new friend Kjell.

A story with heart, Elling may be a hard watch for some but its humour and empathy will keep audiences enraptured.

Where: Southbank Theatre, The Sumner, 140 Southbank blvd Melbourne
When: 29 October – 8 December
Tickets: www.mtc.com.au


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