Patrick Eastough


Fire on Ice is a comedy-play which features the age-old question of “What would happen if there was a fire on Antarctica?” It’s a classic, I know. The story follows a firefighting team and a motley crew of characters who try to stop the fire before it destroys the station, oh and not one has seen a fire before.

Fire on Ice was many things, unfortunately it lacked presence and perceived itself as ‘absurd’ when at most, it was silly with no underlying themes or morals advertised throughout. The aimlessness of the play paired with its confusing interweaving storylines did not give the actors a chance to strut their stuff, meaning not only were emotional outbursts jarring but comedic moments too, as they did not feel earned by their characters. The actors did give it a go, but it was a textbook example of script writing being out of step with the actors’ abilities.

The directing choices seemed uninformed and rushed; where you would think interchanging scenes would involve characters moving in and out of the stage space to indicate movement or progression of plot, most of the play had nearly all the characters on stage at once leaving actors awkwardly in the dark yet still visible. For example, the starting scene introduces the leads and some supporting characters by the names of Kai, Marcy, Gamal, and Taylor; while this is happening, Yubecca is playing with scientific equipment—for a full fifteen minutes! She is not introduced until the action has already begun and the fire has been reported. Unnecessary choices such as these dilute from a rather promising comedic premise. 

Although the set and props looked fantastic, it would’ve been nice as an audience member, to be clued in on where the characters were in each moment and what props they were using. The setting often changed yet only a few set pieces were utilised to visually challenge the previous location the audience had in their minds.

Concomitantly, props were used plentifully to showcase bits and character interests, but the audience could only see what was going on half the time due to the use of front-of-stage where it was only possible for the front row to see—as the characters were at their feet.

Fire on Ice was a unique twist on a comedy-play that unfortunately fell flat on its face with reactions from the audience often being negative. In the future, I suggest ambitious shows—such as this one—be reviewed often and under a critical eye, as they have a slim chance of being successful.

I give it 2/5 Pelicans.

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is the second-oldest student publication in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *