I’M FINE THANKS
04/10/2012 - 06/10/2012
I want you to know that I think you are very special, you have a gift that not many people have. No I’m not joking. You’re a fantastic listener, I find you really easy to communicate with. Hey whatever the medium I know I can count on you! Day or night you are just there. Ready, compliant and accessible.
Thurs 4th, Fri 5th, Sat 6th October 6pm
$15, $10, $10
Product entertainingly placed
Review by Gail Pittaway 05th Oct 2012
Andrew Kaye, of Fullhouse Theatre Company, is better known for his collaborative work, whether in improvisation, training up younger performers, running theatre sports, or acting in and directing the many shows that the company he co-founded has produced.
Here he is performing on his own and doing very well, thank you, in a very funny but tragic role of the consumer consumed. Andy, the hero of this solo show, is a salesman sold out. His entire life comprises brands and labels, products and their placement.
It opens with him half dressed, at the intersection of crossed washing lines laden with shopping bags of differing labels. Each bag contains items he uses in the course of the show and somehow, although much of it seems improvised, he seems to know where those products are at the right time, as he dresses into a pair of trousers, a pale brown summer jacket, dark shoes and then applies hair product, more and maniacally more of it as he becomes increasingly entrenched within the world of his own spin.
He also performs exercises at first, but are they warm ups or wind ups? Is he moving himself, or having his strings pulled? Hard to say, but the ambiguity is entertaining in itself.
Andy, the character is full of bonhomie and brouhaha, laughing loud and long at himself, to the audience, down the phone. The phone in fact rings several times during the show, always for him, always interrupting what he’s currently doing but reminding him of the rest of the sell/ spin world he is part of. It also allows a place for that fiend of the formal play to become a part of this particular performance.
Andy is joined on stage by members of the audience whom he summons then instructs to take parts: a businessman, a doctor, a fellow salesman. They co-operate as the in-the-round design makes it difficult to avoid eye contact with him, but he has the skill to play it along if there is a problem and interacts with them easily.
His poor wife Mary, at first mentioned in passing, is represented by a soft mannequin, face and neck only, bland and lifeless, which he decides to change with surgery inspired by pictures in women’s magazines. All the time he uses the products, brands and items that he is promoting, and gobbles from water bottles (more products) until, finally he is a jelly-caked blob of a being and a tragic figure of fun.
Andrew Kaye wrote the piece and sustains it well with assurance and a little help from some friends on technical support. It’s great to see the range of energy and virtuosity he delivers; also to see the piece explore elements of performance to the edge, so that story, formal set, and properties are replaced by a near-hysterical character repeatedly circling around a criss-cross of lines and bags with increasingly messy spurts of beauty products and water.
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