Clash of an ex-high school quartet
By Myron My
In the short play Reunion, four friends organise a catch-up to see what life has been like for each since they graduated from high school five years previously. We meet best friends, Charlie and Phil (Gabriel Bergmoser and Finn Gilfedder-Cooney), Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Sophie (Ashley Tardy), and Jane (Kayla Symons), who seems to be harbouring some strong animosity towards the group. As the evening progresses and the shots are downed, secrets are revealed and the tense friendships are tested even further.
Bergmoser, who is also the writer of Reunion, has created some highly entertaining dialogue between Charlie and Phil. Their rapport is very believable and easily establishes the long-time relationship between the two friends. Both Bergmoser and Gilfedder-Cooney also do extremely well in then bringing Charlie and Phil to life. By contrast, I was disappointed with the dialogue and characterisation of Jane and Sophie. I felt more work was needed to give these two women more depth and emotion.
Unfortunately the story of Reunion is also a bit disjointed and underdeveloped, so when it’s revealed why Jane is so angry with the group, I couldn’t help but feel a bit cheated. As an audience member, you are racking your brain throughout the play trying to determine what Jane’s issue could be, and when the reason comes out, my first thought was ‘Is that it?’
The lighting and sound design by Boden Lee Tennant worked effectively in creating the fluctuating atmosphere and I enjoyed the way the sound worked to set the environment for each scene. In fact it was so appealing, I would have liked this to have been continued throughout, with some traffic noises for scenes set outside or water running in the bathroom.
Reunion is a good attempt at character investigation and interaction: although there are still some creases that need to be ironed out, there is great potential for this show should the narrative and relationships be explored further to allow these characters to reach their full potential.
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St (entry via Carson Place), Melbourne
Season: Sunday 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th August | 9:30pm
Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Conc