Tag: Christopher Bryant

REVIEW: Christopher Bryant’s INTOXICATION

Theatre at internet speed

By Myron My

I still remember the excitement in my house when we signed up for dial-up Internet. It brought a new world into my living room with just a tap of the keyboard and a click of the mouse. Seventeen years later, the technological advances we have made have brought this virtual world closer to us, but has it pushed us further away from the real world? Presented as part of the 2016 Midsumma Festival, Christopher Bryant’s Intoxication raises questions about how our reliance on social media, dating apps and smart phones are hindering us from building honest and meaningful relationships with actual people.

Intoxication.jpg

The three performers – Ryan Forbes, Amy Hack and Bryant – each sit on an individual cube and, as if they are in a confessional, share their anxieties with us. Even though there is barely, if any, interaction between the three during these moments, the thoughts and emotions shared are very similar, building on Bryant’s idea that despite all having these tangible insecurities and feelings of loneliness, we seem to drive ourselves further away from reality and into the digital world, where we are free to project the life we wish we had and want the world (wide web) to see.

Forbes, Hack and Bryant are engaging on stage and the interactions they do share have a nice authenticity to them. Despite having similar concerns and worries about being alone and falling in love, they each bring individuality to their characters and stay committed to them the whole time.

Bryant is a talented and thoughtful writer and I would love to be able to read the script to Intoxication so I could fully comprehend everything that he has to say. Every line uttered has importance and carries much weight, however the delivery is so fast and non-stop that when you take a second to contemplate what is being said, you’ve already missed the next two lines of dialogue and find yourself trying to keep up with the performers. There are a few musical interludes to help even out the pace but they feel slightly out of place in their current execution.

Intoxication has many home truths it puts forth to the audience, and I found myself agreeing countless times and seeing myself in the thoughts and emotions expressed by characters. However, allowing the audience to reflect on these thoughts during the show, as well as after, would create stronger emotional connections between the viewers and these characters, and thus produce an even stronger impact from the production overall.

Venue: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton
Season: until 7 February | Wed – Sat 7.30pm, Sun 4pm
Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: La Mama Theatre

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REVIEW: Midsumma Festival’s THIRD REICH MOMMIE

Disturbingly funny

By Narelle Wood

With a title like Third Reich Mommie, I knew this performance was either going to be good, bad or completely bizarre; it was all three and didn’t disappoint. The storyline centres on the dysfunctional relationship between an ex-actress turned spy turned agoraphobic mother Bridgette (Christopher Bryant) and at-times sweet and at other times homicidal daughter, Cassidy (Trelawney Edgar).

Third-Reich-Mommie Credits Sarah Walker Photography

Caught in the middle of the neurosis is a sexually confused and charged boy, Jock (Nathan Burmeister), who’s captured the attention of mother and daughter, and the gestapo-esque housekeeper, Ada (Ashleigh Goodson) who juxtaposes her caring nature and sugary singing voice with random bouts of shouting in German.

The plot was initially hard to follow as it twists and turns in such a way that you know someone is up to something, but you’re not exactly sure what is afoot right up until the end when Bridgette Van Kamp’s sordid past and Cassidy’s ‘shining’ future is revealed.

The humour is, for the most part, completely inappropriate but also indiscriminate, targeting Jews, Nazis, homosexuals, Germans, mothers, fathers, and children, and the cast make no apology for this in their performance. Christopher Bryant’s physicality as well as his timing resulted in him delivering some of the show’s most controversial lines, jokes about incinerators and death camps, with comedic flair.

Daniel Lammin, the director, had warned us of some late changes due to unforeseen technical difficulties; the only thing I noticed was how smooth the lighting, scene and sound transitions were given the small number of people in the performance group. It was at times hard to hear, partly because of the acoustics of such a large room, partly the competing noise from the rest of the convent and partly the German accents.

For me Ashleigh Goodson stole the show, which was no mean feat given the strength of the other performers and the seemingly superfluous role that her character played. However it was Ada, and in turn Goodson’s portrayal of the character, that enabled me to slowly put together what appeared to be random schizophrenic conversations.

With good acting, bad characters and a completely bizarre storyline, it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for any future runs of Third Reich Mommie.

Venue: Abbotsford Convent, Rosina Auditorium CBD

Season: 16 – 25th January 2014

Review: APARTMENTOCALYPSE! for MICF

Low-key comedy of epic proportions!

By Myron My

As part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Apartmentocalypse!  has us witnessing the world’s end. Yes, Armageddon is happening right now and three housemates, Thomas (Eden Porter), Martin (Michael Kalenderian) and Rob (Joshua Porter), are trying to figure out what to do next.

Apartmentocalypse

There is a level of ridiculous normality amidst this end of the world, as they still find time to argue about who is responsible for paying the rent and which mugs people have been drinking tea from. With three very distinct personalities on display – new-age Rob, wet-behind-the-ears Thomas and manly Martin – there is always a risk of playing to stereotypes whereby you lose the emotion and the realness of the people but the three actors play their characters so well and honestly that this is avoided and you care about these guys.

There are familiar shades of Shaun of the Dead-style humour present but the distinct comedic timing and high energy that the three possess under Christopher Bryant‘s direction allows this show to break free from this comparison. Particular mention goes to Eden Porter’s hilarious exaggerated expressions that truly were a sight to behold.

This is a tightly-written script that rarely wavers in its comic drive and rewards the audience with call backs referenced throughout, a sign that much time and effort has been put in here. Likewise with the set design, where the smallest touches has been added to create authenticity in the living room and some imaginative use of the lighting at various moments.

Apartmentocalypse! delivers the laughs and recommended for anyone who is looking to enjoy something other than stand-up at this year’s festival. In fact, Apartmentocalypse! reminds me very much of a normal share-house meeting – with the added bonus of the end of the world. And also a very good reason why I insist that all my DVDs remain in alphabetical order at all times.

Venue: The Tuxedo Cat, 17-23 Wills Street, Melbourne

Season: Until 21 April | Thurs-Sat, Mon-Tues 7:15pm, Sun 6:15pm

Tickets: $20 Full | $16 Concession

Bookings: http://www.tuxedocat.com.au or at the door