Review | ‘Nocturna’ explores our capacity for love and self-destruction

Nocturna | Subiaco Arts Centre | til Aug 28 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

The Kabuki Drop delivers another enjoyably provocative and uniquely engaging theatre work, with this production of Nocturna; performed at the Subiaco Arts Centre for a brief moment in time.

Written by Ian Sinclair and directed by principal creative Melissa Cantwell from the company, Nocturna is alluring and poetic. A theatre experience filled with dark and light humorous moments, exploring shared lives and the liminal space we inhabit in our journey through the human experience.

Molly is a cat, a domesticated cat, a house cat, a black cat, an indoor cat; or are they. Molly is the fifth element. The fifth housemate searching for love across time and space through their 9 lives. Molly is a mythical alien sphinx; a trusted companion, lover, soul mate, shadow, a creature of the night.


The connected lives of suburban housemates are explored through Molly, the feline of the house in a series of short connected monologues through the performance. Vignettes of prior lives, these monologues explore epochs of time, through the eyes of our feline overlord.

The design for the production is simple and striking, from the set design by Bruce McKinven and the use of reflected shapes creating space, enclosing the present and revealing the past. Amplified by Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall creating a sensory; cosmic experience. Enhanced by the ethereal otherworldly compositions of Sound Designer and Composer Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, creating incredible dimensions of sound to the production.


Actor Ali Van Reeken’s performance as Molly the cat is exquisitely enthralling, bringing to life the creation of our feline housemate; delivering nuances in tone and meows only a cat lover will know.

Alicia Osyka, Daniel Buckle, Isaac Diamond and Morgan Owen, all local actors; show us how much talent we have in Perth with engaging well-crafted performances.

From the company that brought us the wonderful Perth Festival production of Whale Fall in early 2021, Nocturna explores the enormous capacity for love and the enormous capacity for self-destruction humans can manifest.

Artfully layered, revealing sardonically amusing reflections of our world, as shared experiences begin to crumble, disintegrate and degenerate. Darkly celebrating the sometimes ludicrous politics and dramas of share households, jealousy, hidden desires, friendship, love, relationships and paying the rent.

Nocturna is at Subiaco Arts Centre until Saturday 28th August. Tickets available from

Guy Gomeze, image: Dana Weeks

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