Beetle Graduation


There’s a theory that we don’t truly become ourselves until our parents die.

Beetle Graduation, is the funny, touching and very human story of a woman named Beetle as she journeys towards reconciliation with her dying mother.  With wicked black humour and powerful emotion, Michaela Cantwell as Beetle and Carmel Johnson as her mother bring to life the complex relationship of two strong women with very strong opinions.
WORLD PREMIERE for the Stage: 12 July, 2008 at The Space, Adelaide, South Australia, presented by Brink Productions in association with the Adelaide Festival Centre's inSPACE program.

FEATURING Michaela Cantwell & Carmel Johnson

WRITER Susan Rogers DIRECTOR Chris Drummond 
"Beetle Graduation is impressively accomplished."

Adelaide Review
"Chris Drummond has fashioned a meticulous miniature. Wendy Todd’s elegantly spare set, Geoff Cobham’s probing and revealing lighting design and DJ TR!P’s pulsing sounds and pealing piano all merge in the gestalt.  The performances are excellent. As the mother, Carmel Johnson is grandly egotistical... As Beetle, Michaela Cantwell poignantly reveals the daughter’s fractured dignity and the feeling that she was better loved by the cleaning woman than her own mother."

The Australian
"The scenes of the play are truly epic theatre; each scene is important; though not sequential, the scenes build, like a mosaic, to eventually create a fascinating picture of the daily problems of living with another person that you love."

Radio Adelaide
"Carmel Johnson and Michaela Cantwell are about as good as it gets.  Director Chris Drummond says he has pared back the performance elements. The result is a fluid transition from time to time and place to place. A single chair, a red stole, a carpeted square, both players onstage throughout – with superb constantly changing lighting by Geoff Cobham and a live interactive soundscape by composer DJ TR!P. The result is seamless and deceptively simple."

Adelaide Theatre Guide
"For Brink, following on from its spectacular Festival production When The Rain Stops Falling was always going to be a difficult task. But at an hour long and with a cast of two, Beetle Graduation was always meant to be on a different scale – and is all the better for it. "

The Independent Weekly