Louis is a failed novelist, which wouldn't be the case if he'd stop messing with tense and obscuring the narrative. He was a theatre reviewer, and he'd still be doing that if a black box hadn't been invented that runs on an algorithm having it write perfect reviews. His girlfriend would still be around if he'd stopped taking her to plays were directors wrecked simple stories, and he'd be sitting in his home right now if he hadn't worn out his welcome at this parent's investment property. One thing Louis does have is grit; he ain't gonna let no thing or no body bring him down. But sometimes art happens, and when it does...two words...pens and eyes. Pens. Eyes.
First of all the venue -- the Old Fitz is an old pub in the backstreets of Wooloomooloo, Sydney. It doesn't look like a very exciting area when you're walking around it, so when I saw the Old Fitz sign on the end of the street I thought it might be a pretty daggy place. I was so wrong. A friend of mine and I walked into a really groovy bar with lots of funky actors and sydney-siders enjoying a beer from the nice Irish guy working behind the bar. The place struck me immediately as hyper-cool and not trying to be anything it wasn't. We went upstairs to grab the tickets and then headed downstairs below the bar into the tiny theatre. I immediately loved the atmosphere, everyone cramped into a tiny theatre, with low lighting, tiered seating and cushions on the stairs if you didn't manage to get a seat. It's my idea of a perfect theatre venue. The audience is so close to the tiny stage that you really feel connected to the drama and the actors no matter where you are sitting. Now onto the play.
I thought it was pretty fucking hilarious. I had no idea what is was going to be like when I booked the tickets, but was immediately hooked from the first scene. All of the actors were immensely comfortable in their characters and the comic timing straight off the bat, was perfect. The small scenes from different times in the characters lives were both funny and poignant, and although at times the play border lined surreal, there was always a real human connection that the audience felt with the story. There were some very weird and unexpected twists - what started out as 'normal' play then continued to include comic deaths and surreal events. But what I found most funny wasn't these surreal events, but the witty banter between the characters. I was almost crying with laughter at certain points, and the audience could tell that the actors themselves were cracking a smile during their scenes. It was a really clever production, with smart sets and dialogue that always kept you guessing as to what came next. Some of the acting at times wasn't wholly realistic, but I think when you work with a play that doesn't fit into a specific genre, it can be really difficult. It was the kind of play that reminded me how much I love acting and how exciting it would be to be in a production like that.
Unfortunately, last night was the play's last performance - but I'm definitely going back to the old Fitz soon for another play!