Sam Floyd and Freshly Ground Theatre, throw keys into the bowl of infidelity with this dark comedy.
Floyd’s hockey dialogue, prods and pokes the taboo subject of extra marital affairs. Director Max Barker clearly understood Floyd’s intentions. They slowly cook familiarity and allow the lid of contempt to boil over into bouts of wanted and unwanted attention.
We were the un-invited dinner guests who walked straight into a brewing domestic argument.
The Brunswick Mechanics Institute’s set could have been any lounge room or kitchen in Melbourne. Except the furnishings and fittings were covered with Eco friendly, brown paper which immediately drew attention to the characters bland lives.
Lucy Norton and Remy Coll are the stereotypical thirty something couple waiting for their friends and dinner party guests, Sam Floyd and Anthea Greco.
Norton is an attractive domestic goddess, preparing dinner and frustrated with her lazy husband in the lounge room, sitting on the sofa watching the tennis.
Floyd displays two bored couples and their simmering hidden desires. The predictable married couples lives are established over dips, wine and mineral water. Norton is studying Psychology and waiting tables to afford her tuition. Her husband Coll, is in accounts and has no ambition other than making his affair with Greco public.
Floyd and Greco are their friends. She is extremely attractive and a trophy wife. He is extremely successful and secretive. He is wealthy and she enjoys spending his money. Both keeping up appearances. Norton believes how they relate to each other to be perfect subjects for her Psychology thesis.
The less ambitious spouses of the two marriages, Coll and Greco, are drawn to each other as a consequence of their less affectionate other halves.
Floyd’s thread of following your inner desires in every aspect, is evident. His character has respect for the intellect and drive of his wife’s friend. Norton finds her friends husband’s ability to listen to her acquired skills alluring.
Tempers get hot in the kitchen. Floyd’s dialogue builds the tension and the couples publicly burn each other along with the casserole dish for dinner.
The wives inherit their domestic lives as their mothers did before them. They chat openly of their husbands short comings. Greco’s indiscretion is her desire to break free from the mould. A turn of unforeseen events and suspicion instigate more heat in the kitchen.
Barker couples Floyd’s satire with cutting moments of comic relief. Coll’s character is a “blonde himbo”. He injects satirical lines and arouses raised eye brows and laughs.
Undoubtedly, Floyd has written a complex character for himself and gives a standout and elusive performance. His character is slightly contrived until his definitive role as the alpha male becomes obvious in the second half of the performance. The other players fulfil their roles and don’t deviate from them.
Floyd has a penchant for lengthy sentences. The extended pauses of silence alleviated the dense dialogue. Floyd gives Norton, the budding psychologist, an insightful line to answer the awkward silences the couples experience in their conflicts.
In two instances, the characters appeared to stall to remember where they were up to? Opening night nerves will pass and the players will adapt a more natural approach in their roles as the run continues.
The dual fronted set allowed for split scenes to run simultaneously. Subdued lighting drew attention to the characters in the background scene, without over powering the main scene.
Floyd and Barker hit their mark. A comical view of a common situation, married couples find themselves in at one point in their relationship. The story is relatable and light entertainment.