Martini 5Down an alley, into a bar, up the back stairs, into another bar and you are at the venue for Black Martini’s 2018 FringeWorld offering, Transported.

The Cheeky Sparrow bar, is quintessential fringe – a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place, but it suits this piece perfectly. My initial concerns over background chatter and the occasional ‘doof doof’ from the bar downstairs quickly subsided as the three performers hit the stage (or should I say carpet!) and I knew I was in good hands. I was hooked.

Black Martini’s mission statement sums up perfectly why it is what they do… do something that is different. It does not necessarily mean that it will push the boundaries of theatre, nor will it avoid presenting classic texts on stage. It is more about making an impact by subjecting from the norm. And this they have done with Transported. It’s rare these days to be exposed to absurdist comedy cleverly done.

Written by Australian Playwright Judy Bierwirth, Transported, is pretty simple in plot. Two men wait at a bus stop as Tansportedthey have every day for years. A stranger joins. And suddenly their norm is turned on its head. I won’t go into any more detail for fear of spoiling the experience, but suffice to say that what follows is 35 minutes of limited dialogue, great comic timing, wonderful expressions and physical comedy and some plain old subtle absurdity.

Director Thomas Dimmick has done a fine job considering the limitations of the original piece. ‘We worked pretty faithfully to the script, but it was very bare bones, most of it was stage directions and some characterisation thrown into it with minimal dialogue. But we have slowly built up the characters and found moments where we could extend what we had or find new ways of exploring it’. The temptation to push the comedy is always a danger with this style, but this is smart, restrained and never spills over to the outlandish.

Martini 2Hock Edwards, Andrew Dawson and Launcelot Ronzan are all very good comedic performers. Using mainly facial expression, physicality, and precise synchronised movement they take us on their comical journey from the normal to the not so normal with great skill.

A short 35 minute show, Transported is not going to wow you with production values, but what it does is deliver a witty, clever and skilful piece of theatre that I definitely could have seen more of.

Mezzanine Bar at Cheeky Sparrow 6/317 Murray Street, Perth CBD
Transported closes Saturday 3rd February