THE Wharf Theatre in Devizes has once again surprised and challenged its audience with a piece of theatre that is thought-provoking, riveting and ultimately life-enhancing.

Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know to be True is a portrait of a family living in an Adelaide suburb of Australia, but it is as far away from Ramsay Street as it is possible to get.

We see the drama through the eyes of the youngest of the clan, Rosie, who has just returned from Europe where her heart was broken by a boy who left her, taking her cash, iPad and camera.

She makes a list of things she knows to be true, which includes the fact that her home and family will always be there for her, but she arrives home in time to watch it disintegrate before her eyes.

Her elder sister Pip abandons her husband and children to live with a man in Canada, her eldest brother Mark undertakes gender reassignment treatment and her other brother, Ben, reveals he has embezzled a huge sum of money from his employers.

She witnesses how her parents, Fran and Bob, struggle with each new crisis.

So what elevates this drama beyond your average Aussie soap? For a start there is the superlative writing of Mr Bovell, but more than that, director Freddie Underwood takes a leaf out of the book of the theatre company, Frantic Assembly, which first performed this piece, to heighten the drama with movement. The folding of a blanket becomes a ballet and family confrontations transform into dance routines.

Ms Underwood’s superb production is aided by six brilliant performances. Debby Wilkinson plays Fran with the intensity that you normally find in Greek tragedy. She is matched by the quiet sadness of Paul Butler as husband Bob.

Lou Cox as Pip, Karl Montgomery-Williams as Mark and Fraser Normington as Ben portray the pain and anger of their respective characters with total conviction while Jessica Whiley shines as Rosie like a good deed in a naughty world.

There is effective lighting by John Winterton and the Wharf’s tech team add immeasurably to the success of what is an astonishing evening at the theatre.

The show runs until Saturday (April 27) and tickets are on sale at