|Booze Furniture Sex and Nameless|
|Written by Jodi McAlister|
|Monday, 19 September 2011 12:07|
Left – Booze Furniture Sex
It would be hard to dream up two plays more different than Booze Furniture Sex and Nameless. Together, they make a truly bizarre double bill – not because they themselves are bizarre (though one definitely is), but because the combination of the two plays in a single evening is completely weird. One is a light-hearted comedy, the other a camp, pseudo-sci-fi exploration of the grotesque. There is no connection between the two plays at all, no common idea. This double bill does not add up to more than the sum of its parts – it’s two halves that don’t really make a whole.
The first play of the night was Booze Furniture Sex, which focuses on struggling actor Michael as he screws up auditions, screws up his love life, and finds that the only thing he’s really good at is selling furniture. This is a problem, because he hates selling furniture (barstools in particular). He wants to do something bigger and better with his life – but he doesn’t know what that is yet.
The play was hardly erudite, and I don’t see it taking the world by storm any time soon (even if the writers do give it a much needed edit), but it’s certainly enjoyable. There are a couple of scenes which are genuinely hilariously funny – the scene where Michael is trying to sell a barstool to an extremely annoying customer, for example. What I would have liked to see was more from the female character Miranda. The scenes between Michael and his friend Lachlan were some of the best in the play, but Miranda was completely underdeveloped.
Booze Furniture Sex is not going to win any awards, but if you want some light comedy from your Sydney Fringe Festival, you could do a lot worse than seeing this play. I would recommend, however, leaving at the (agonisingly long) interval, because Nameless, the play that follows, borders on the painful.
The underlying problem with Nameless was that it wanted to be about a lot of things but didn’t quite know what these things were. It opens with Subject 593, whom I gathered was some kind of genetically engineered super soldier (who, for some reason, never seemed to evolve beyond an animal level of intelligence), and a doctor, who is carrying out tests on her... and then he seems to kill her. But then she’s not dead. But he is. The play descends into some kind of grotesque faux-circus where the main aim seems to be to smear as much fake blood about as possible.
I genuinely don’t know what I was supposed to take away from Nameless. It was confusing and confused. A relatively strong plot was set up at the beginning, only to never re-appear. The two characters were wildly inconsistent, to the point where I wasn’t even sure if they were the same characters any more. There was awkward audience participation, a very strange interlude featuring Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, and angsty, self-indulgent monologues. If the aim was to achieve total theatrical chaos, then it succeeded, because Nameless is incoherent and nonsensical.
It’s hard to imagine two more disparate plays than these two. In a really good double bill, the two plays will complement each other, heighten understanding of each other. That definitely does not happen with Booze Furniture Sex and Nameless. If Booze Furniture Sex was on by itself, I’d recommend it. As the double bill stands, I can’t.
2011 Sydney Fringe Festival
BFS - Booze, Furniture, Sex!
Venue: Tap Gallery | 278 Palmer Street
Dates: Sep 13 – 24, 2011
Tickets: Adult: $17.00, Concession: $13.00
Comments (0)Subscribe to this comment's feed