Written by Melbourne playwright and author, Gabriel Bergmoser, The Lucas Conundrum is an intriguing look at Hollywood and the role of the artist amongst the money-making machine. This one hour play is packed with drama, hilarity and thought-provoking remarks.
Bergmoser was the winner of the 2015 Sir Peter Ustinov Award for Scriptwriting and his talent is evident in this latest work. Bergmoser has the ability to write engaging stories with unexpected twists that keep the audience hanging on every word.
The story revolves around Robert Stone, famous for directing the “biggest fantasy film franchise of all time”. Thirty years later, he has returned to make another chapter in the saga, but is thrown a curve ball when an internet petition to allow a dying boy to see an unfinished cut of this latest movie is presented to Stone. Stone flatly refuses to accommodate this request, claiming no one will see the movie until it is ready.
Greg Caine is excellent as director Robert Stone, convincing the audience he is simply a stubborn and selfish artist only concerned about his own needs and with no interest in the welfare of this dying child. Stone’s much younger love interest is Hayley, played by Alicia Beckhurst. Beckhurst delivers much of the humour of the show with a good balance of ditziness and likeable enthusiasm and energy.
Chris Grant is fabulously camp as Freddie, the producer who ultimately delivers the truth about this money-making machine called Hollywood. The final character is Amy, played by Angelique Malcolm: Robert Stone’s ex-wife who is in town to sign divorce papers.
The play is well directed by Ashley Tardy and the story moves at a good pace that keeps the audience connected the whole way through. Without giving away what it is, the twist in the storyline comes as a complete surprise to the audience. While there is some explanation as the play concludes, not all the threads are fully resolved in a reminder of the reality of decisions made in life (particularly when those choices are fuelled by cocaine and alcohol).
The only real criticism of The Lucas Conundrum is the small performance space of Club Voltaire, The limited set worked well enough but there was little space for performers to move and it would be all the more powerful if you weren’t being reminded of the restrictions of the contrived space.
This is a clever story, with plenty of references to current movies and their creatives that make this plot seem all the more plausible. As someone who loved Jar Jar Binks and those “teddybears” in the Star Wars movies, the references to what George Lucas did to the Star Wars franchise in the eyes of his fans were particularly hilarious. While The Lucas Conundrum is a fictitious story, you leave wondering just how far from the truth this story really is.
The Lucas Conundrum is currently playing at Club Voltaire.
Tickets are available at: http://www.trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=170959