Tag: spy thriller


Killer cabaret

By Myron My

In Tomás Ford’s one-man cabaret thriller The Final Chase, we follow a secret agent as he attempts to find his missing girlfriend while simultaneously trying to track down his arch-nemesis. It proves to be a case that ends up fatal for one of the three as the audience is taken along this exhilarating ride.

The Final Chase

Clearly there can be no secret-agent show that isn’t slightly inspired by James Bond, but there is also a little witty bit of Maxwell Smart and possibly a sliver of Austin Powers stirred into this mix. However, Ford still creates a strong character in his flawed and troubled yet calculating agent who is damn good at what he does – killing people.

Throughout The Final Chase, you can see in Ford’s eyes that he is committed to the belief that all this is actually happening. When he’s acting, when he’s singing (and boy can he sing) and when he’s out in the audience, he doesn’t drop the persona or the reality of his world once.

On the surface, the songs performed by Ford serve to progress the story at the right pace and to lure us into this shady world. Go a little deeper and they also allow us to get into the mind of this secret agent as he teeters on the edge of a breakdown due to the burden of his job. There’s a running theme with all of Ford’s songs of how much more can he sacrifice before he loses everything?

I did have a minor quibble with the ending however. Whilst narrative-wise it was strong and suspenseful, the closing song felt unnecessarily long and lost some of the impact of what was transpiring. The final moments could have been more effective taking place on stage rather than the back of the venue with people having to crane and turn behind them to catch a glimpse of it.

All the other elements come together seamlessly to bring the story of an unbalanced secret agent to life. The Final Chase is funny, intriguing and sexy but more importantly, a damn well thought-out cabaret.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St, Melbourne

Season: Until 23 November | 6:00pm

Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc

Bookings: http://www.thebutterflyclub.com


Spy thriller hits the bullseye

By Myron My

SNAFU Theatre is back with their eighth production Ten Months in a Cold Town. In it, a man (James Gand-Hunt) enters a woman’s (Samantha Hill) house. They are both spies and he is there to receive some important documents. We watch as they wait for a fax transmission to come through before the documents are handed over…

Who is telling the truth? Is everyone who they say they are?

Ten Months In a Cold Town

Sam Wilson and May Jasper have written an intriguing and captivating script. I particularly enjoyed watching as scenes went from comedic and light-hearted to dark and serious quite fluidly and unexpectedly. The further we progress with the play, the more extreme the pendulum swung between these two contrasting genres and moods. It’s not until we are introduced to Irina (Cazz Bainbridge) that the story comes full-circle.

The scenes in Russian are intriguing to watch as you are left to your own devices to translate what is being said. Despite the fact I speak no Russian, the actors seemed quite comfortable with the language and apparently spoke fluently, and should be congratulated on their efforts.

This is predominantly a character piece rather than a narrative piece and with Gand-Hunt and Hill on stage from beginning to end, there is a lot riding on them being able to pull these characters off and they do exceptionally well.

There are touches of Waiting for Godot during the lighter moments in which the actors both appeared most comfortable, as the two spies discuss their time at “spy school” and their experience of marriage. However, during the more intense moments, I felt there could have been a push to explore their darker natures through emotions and reactions.

Overall, Ten Months in a Cold Town has a strong script and strong performances. It doesn’t answer all your questions but this is not a bad thing as it’s nice to not always be spoon-fed a story, and my friend and I spent some time discussing what we believe had happened – and was going to happen…

Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

Season: Until 4 May | Thurs-Sat 7:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc