Love After Dark
04/10/2011 - 15/10/2011
Tonight. One a.m. A flat in urban Auckland.
Five characters. One beginning. Three endings.
Love After Dark brings together three teams of writers, directors and actors in a unique theatrical experience. Three short one-act plays will be presented, each of which have used the same short snippet of script as a starting point. Then three different writers, each collaborating with a director and a cast of five actors, have decided what happens next…
The Outfit Theatre Company’s latest creation aims to surprise, provoke and entertain with these theatrical variations on a theme. Expect the unexpected!
The Factory Floor is a new annual development initiative from The Outfit Theatre Company. While most theatre development seasons focus on the play and playwright, at Outfit Theatre we’re all about developing our actors. Thus, The Factory Floor is designed to give our Resident Ensemble performers the opportunity to expand their skills by trying their hand at roles such as writer or director, and also to give new emerging performers the opportunity to work with, and within, The Outfit Theatre’s Resident Ensemble.
WHEN: October 4th – 15th
WHERE: The Basement Studio (Lower Greys Ave)
TIME: Show starts @ 8.30pm
TICKET PRICES: Full Price $20
Concession $16 (Community Service Card Holders, Students with ID and Equity Card Holders)
More Info: www.outfittheatre.co.nz
Chelsea McEwan Millar
Technical Services: All Stages Creative
Producers: The Outfit Theatre Company
1hr 15min, no interval
Radically different outcomes from identical beginnings
Review by Nik Smythe 05th Oct 2011
All fifteen of the cast ensemble are gathered on the sofa and around the table in a kind of arty urban student loft apartment, chattering amongst themselves. The scene is cleverly enhanced in mood and style with the hubbub of the audience crossing through the party to take their seats, and by the studio’s extant, impressive art collection lining the walls.
Love After Dark is the debut ‘Factory Floor’ season from The Outfit Co., an experimental concept where the company, whose ‘standard’ works already involve considerably left-field devising techniques, push the envelope even further beyond the known parameters in an effort to create something uniquely worthwhile. Essentially they have succeeded, evidenced by the effectiveness of the production in its own right – it’s not vital to understand the process to appreciate the work.
The algebraic breakdown reveals fifteen actors playing 3 one-act plays with five characters in each, four of whom have the same name in all three. Each one opens with an identical script, albeit played in radically differing ways, setting up basic relationships and attitudes before the entrance of the fifth character (the only one who’s name is different in each play) marks the point where each story takes on its own direction.
The first story, ‘To Cassette’, begins with sensitive young artist Charlie (Toby Goode) brooding on the couch while his feistily exuberant flatmate Sam (Kate Lumb) tries to persuade him to come out to Cassette with her and their friends. The trouble is, Charlie hates Sam’s obnoxious sleazy boyfriend Vic (Jatinder Singh), for reasons that will become known.
Meanwhile Vic’s nerdish friend Lindsay (Peter Coates) is quite obviously sweet on cute, sassy but troubled Sky (Chelsea McEwen Miller), but something’s seriously bothering her… Directed by Sarah Graham, the cast’s high energy and easily relatable characters give clarity and drive to Brad Johnson’s well-conceived, inevitably complex script.
The second piece, ‘Thicker Than Water’, opens on sensitive, clinically depressed young Charlie (Joel Herbert) brooding on the couch while his long-sufferingly loving sister Sam (Stefanie Lawrence) pleads with him to come out with their friends for a change, instead of lying around doing nothing but feel sorry for himself. It seems he’s jealous of Sam’s new boyfriend, cheeky party-boy Vic (Adam Tatana) and to address this they are attempting to set Charlie up with Vic’s tall, foxy, remarkably drunk friend Lindsay (Jacqui Nauman).
Meanwhile he’s less than impressed by the arrival of his fun, outgoing recent ex-girlfriend Jordan (Anoushka Klaus)… Devlin Bishop directs Matt Baker’s wholly darker script in a bleakly amusing, dramatically intense, mini psycho-thriller.
Finally, in ‘Love… After Dark’, a histrionically sensitive young Charlie (Edward Clendon) is throwing a tizzy on the couch while his affable, clean-cut flatmate Sam (James Jennings) cajoles him to come out with his excitably upbeat girlfriend Vic (Catherine Rood) and her petulant, sultry friend Lindsay (Holly Bradfield).
Without giving too much away, the scenario is turned on its head with the introduction of the fifth player, highly-strung theatre practitioner Emma (Ema Barton). Under Chris Tempest’s broadly satirical direction, Colin Garlick’s audacious, highly comical script is not without dramatic intensity.
I assume the concept overseer Andrew Ford wrote the four pages of script that each story begins with. I wonder how much each section of the company was party to which direction the other two were taking during the short (four-week!) rehearsal period. Also, I assume the set and lighting design were a group effort, given the absence of any credit as such.
Regardless of such mysteries, the evident pro-active determination of the Outfit Theatre Co. has devised a most worthwhile production in the course of the hands-on factory-floor experimentation.
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