Theatre Renegade at the Bush Upstairs
A good play to open proceedings, Extinct is about a relationship falling apart, exploding and two people reaching the end of a road – as a dinosaur wreaks havoc in their garden. There are some nice shifts and turns in the piece and Jamie Biddle’s central premise works well theatrically for the short form and metaphorically for the content.
The second play is a romp. It is fun and endearingly performed. Steven O’Neil impresses with his dairy farmer up against his lactose intolerance love interest (a very sweet Jennifer Lim) and various nefarious villains all played by Abigail Unwin-Smith. The stylised writing works well on stage, and would probably transfer really nicely to radio as it is quite story-telling based.
Sometimes theatre can catch you unawares and Old Fools by Tristan Bernays does just that. It is almost a dance as the couple, beautifully performed by Sophie Steer and Alex Gatehouse wind their way through their lives together – from when they first meet to the bitterness of when one is no longer able to remember. This piece hits you in the chest; it lulls you into light and laughter and then kicks out, hard. It’s heartbreaking, wonderful quite upsetting.
(It’s difficult in a short play evening when one play has such an impact, so it was very well scheduled before interval – I know I needed 20mins to recover! – So again, good programming).
Can I be straight with you?
After interval the tone picks up. This play pits two people across a dinner table. They’ve gone to school together, her mother figures she needs a bloke and he is in for a quick tumble but it isn’t what it seems at first. What follows is an interesting little power play between them and whilst you aren’t never really in any doubt about what is going to happen, the ride is enjoyable.
Only on Sundays.
Monologues are challenging beasts but well written, directed and performed they can be great drama. Only on Sundays was all of these are a good closer for the evening. Grant Leat performs a mean story and was captivating.