Krist­jan’s death hits a raw nerve

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY SHOWS -

GIV­ING the true and tragic ac­count of the death of Toowoomba teenager Krist­jan Terauds in front of his still-griev­ing par­ents only 18 months af­ter his death was one of the most raw ex­pe­ri­ences for ac­tor Allen Laverty.

Laverty plays the role of Krist­jan’s fa­ther in April’s Fool, the story of a fam­ily com­ing to terms with the death due to com­pli­ca­tions re­sult­ing from il­licit drug use of a pop­u­lar teen two weeks short of his 18th birth­day .

Krist­jan’s fam­ily was deeply in­volved in de­vel­op­ing the piece, which was com­mis­sioned by award-win­ning play­wright David Bur­ton. It is on stage at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast next week.

Us­ing the words of Krist­jan’s friends and fam­ily, in­ter­viewed over many months, the re­sult is a pow­er­ful mix of sad­ness, loss and love, laced with hu­mour.

‘‘To speak their words, and per­form this piece in front of Krist­jan’s par­ents, fam­ily and friends, most of whom are men­tioned in the per­for­mance, was one of the hard­est things I’ve had to do as an ac­tor,’’ Laverty says.

‘‘It was quite dif­fi­cult as ev­ery­thing was still raw for them, and it was raw for us to, too.

‘‘But the way it is writ­ten makes it easy to per­form be­cause it’s not con­trived in any way – it’s real words, real emo­tions taken straight from the jour­nal of Krist­jan’s fa­ther.’’

The show, which also stars Bar­bara Low­ing, Jes­sica Harm, Sam Clark and Belinda Raisin, was first per­formed in 2010 and re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion.

‘‘Au­di­ences re­act dif­fer­ently to it all the time,’’ says Laverty.

‘‘Some are silent at the end, not know­ing whether to clap be­cause they are dumb­founded by what they’ve seen, and some stand up and ap­plaud.

‘‘It touches peo­ple and ef­fects them in dif­fer­ent ways – it’s not about say­ing ‘don’t do drugs’ and preach­ing, it’s about open­ing up the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tions with your kids, par­ents and friends and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about drug use.

‘‘Peo­ple are go­ing to try things in their lives, but it’s about dis­cussing these things with the ones you love.

‘‘That’s what we hope to achieve with this show, just to get peo­ple talk­ing about the is­sue.’’

Young peo­ple, par­ents, teach­ers, youth work­ers and theatre crit­ics have praised April’s Fool for its en­gag­ing story.

This piece is not just a per­for­mance to be en­joyed by drama stu­dents, but is crit­i­cal for all stu­dents and their par­ents to fully un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the con­se­quences of drug use.

plays The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast on Mon­day at 7.30pm and Tues­day at 10.30am. Tick­ets are $25-$40.

More Shows, Theatre list­ings, Page 46

Allen Laverty in a scene from

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