Presented by Summer Nights and SLATE, Michael Abercromby’s play “FRONT” is based on his experience as a musician in Perth. Directed, written and designed by Abercromby, this production marks the launch of SLATE: a new theatre collective that supports emerging and established performing artists in Perth. Emerging artists Isaac Diamond, Oscar Harris, Adam Marks, Mikayla Merks, Mary Soudi and Harrison Targett have been given the opportunity to perform the WA Premiere of “FRONT” as part of the Fringe World Festival and Summer Nights and they certainly rise to the challenge.
The play follows local band, Rough Cut Punt (best said slowly), during their rapid rise to fame. “FRONT” portrays the drama of rehearsal rooms, green rooms, and studios that is rarely seen in theatre productions, though these dramas have been played out many times on screen: recently in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and in “This is Spinal Tap”, “Sid and Nancy”, “The Commitments”, and “The Doors”, to name a few. However, it is exhilarating to watch these musicians performing live, giving the audience insights into the ‘hit and miss’ approach to song writing; and the personality conflicts and alliances that tenuously hold together a band. Essentially, the play explores each character in relation to their motive for being in the band and playing music: whether it be for success; or for the joy of playing an instrument; or as a reason to party and get hammered.
“FRONT” is crude, hilarious and very entertaining. In an ensemble piece it is difficult to isolate one actor over the others, however, Adam Marks’ performance is superb and worth seeing for its comic timing and disturbing accuracy.