Life x3 | Black Swan Theatre CompanyHurrah Black Swan. Why don’t you do things like this all the time? Life x3 is a funny, raw, slightly absurd urban drama about the stresses that husband and wife Henry and Sonia face when their VIP dinner guests Inez and Hubert arrive a day too early for dinner.

The result is hilarious and they face what many couples do when they clash – except on a largely exaggerated level. How to raise the children, why Sonia isn’t working full time, when is Henry going to be published again and why isn’t there more food in the house? These are all raised – three times over!

Three times the same scene is replayed and each time it gets worse and worse, more and more wine is drunk and Henry, Sonia, Hubert and Inez embarrass themselves over and over – showing exactly how raw, hurtful and scared of life we can be despite our confident exterior. The character of Hubert was very confronting and a little frightening when drunk (but we all have friends like this, right?) but was offset very nicely by the more natural insanity of the other characters.

Greg Stone and Alison Van Reeken are brilliant as Sonia and Henry and have a beautiful chemistry as the dysfunctional married couple. There is nothing bad I can say about these two actors in this particular production and I suspect for many of the couples in the audience, it was like looking in a big, crazy mirror.

The set of Life x3 was funky and comfy looking with modern furniture and a plush neon yellow carpet covering the stage that I just wanted to crawl up to and fall asleep on. It is rarely I feel so comfortable in a theatre environment.

Vivienne Garrett played the drunken, embarrassing and frustrated rich wife Inez beautifully, which played against the sometimes relaxed and more hostile Sonia with spark.

The only slips on opening night were a little spill from the stage crew – but that happens when you’re setting a stage in the dark – and the music between the 2nd and 3rd scene was so loud it made my ears bleed. Just a touch softer and we would have been able to appreciate the piece of music a little more. It was perfect during curtain call.

After the first of three scenes (which are all the same), I feared I would tire very quickly of seeing the same scene twice more. I surprised myself. I thoroughly enjoyed director Lindy Hume’s representation of the scenes and could go again. A very notable point is that it was Lindy’s debut with Black Swan. Let this be a lesson to the Perth theatre scene: new blood kicks ass. Give this woman more to direct – the actors were wonderful, there wasn’t a foot out of place and the lighting, set design and use of props, movement and the revolving stage was...sweet. It all went together so well and despite all your other doubtless brilliant reviews, I hope you can give yourselves a round of applause. It is so nice to be able to rave about a local performance for a change. I was starting to think Black Swan was inviting me as a joke – and that I’d turn up and there would be no show at all, only actors and directors ready to kill me.

Hurrah again Black Swan. Keep up the good work – use this as a starting point to just get better and better.

Black Swan Theatre Company presents
LIFE x 3
By Yasmina Reza
Translated by Christopher Hampton

Venue: Playhouse Theatre | 3 Pier Street Perth
Dates: 1 – 16 September 2007
Previews: Friday 1 September 7.30pm, Monday 3 September 6.30pm
Opens: Tuesday 4 September 7.30pm
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes (no interval)
Bookings: BOCS Ticketing 9484 1133

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