‘Card Houses’ // Harrison Mills and Anywhere Festival

‘Card Houses’ was immersive.

‘Card Houses’, presented by Harrison Mills at Anywhere Festival, is a fresh Gen-Z coming-of-age tale. Shining the spotlight on the transition between adolescence and adulthood, the piece does not shy away from youthfulness, witty humour, and vulnerability, even diving into concepts of the ’emo’.

‘Card Houses’ delves into how young people “survived” during the previously unprecedented times of the pandemic with boldness and daring.

The cast includes Jules and Mason. Jules is a bold, talkative young woman whose strong opinions attract conflict like a magnet. Mason is a scruffy, easy-going young man that prefers simplicity and no friction. They have barely anything in common except their mutual friend, Georgia, and their age.

A cruel twist of fate sees these polar opposites locked down together during the pandemic in the city suburb of West End. With no escape, what will they do? Laugh? Cry? Be bored out of their minds?

The scenography by Ella Dickson was interesting and unusual. Walking into the venue the audience was met with photos and notes written all along the walls. For anyone that has lived with a roommate knows, these notes were passive-aggressive reminders to each other about closing windows, finding cash and where the food goes.

Directed and Written by Harrison Mills ‘Card Houses’ is the textbook definition of realism in immersive theatre. The audience was transported into the world by Mills with innovative writing and simple direction, a difficult task when creating an immersive theatre experience. Mills achieved the right blend of the two with simplicity and ease. 

Mia Foley filled the role of Jules with grace and hilarity. It is clear Foley is a talented and experienced actor, and shines through in this production. Foley’s facial emotions and gestures were perfectly reminiscent of a young 19-year-old just out of school. Mason, played by Cullyn Beckton, was intricate and reserved. Beckton warmed to this role throughout the production, culminating in emotional upheaval and giving the audience the sense of grief that layered this production and the pandemic. 

The production, masterminded by Harrison Mills, undoubtedly merits a solid rating. It forms part of the Anywhere Festival which continues to captivate audiences each year, showcasing a plethora of artists across Brisbane and the Moreton Regions.

‘Card Houses’ performs until May 20, 2023 at House Conspiracy. For more information visit their website.

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