Clickety Tock | Tipsy Teacup ProductionsSet in the atmospheric Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room, Clickety Tock is a well-written, well-acted, topical and inventive look at time, how it is defined, used, passed, paid for, wasted and speeded up. The central figure is Tom, an accountant, portrayed by a puppet, and six skilled actors play others in his life, a frantic colleague, a personal trainer, an over-committed student, a lost ‘slacker’, a foolish woman, and an overwhelmed grandmother. Tom is certainly a buttoned-down individual, his youthful dreams lost, every waking minute taken up with productivity, punctuality, image, materialism and trivia.

The dialogue is witty, shrewd and perceptive, and full of accurate observation of contemporary life. Just why are so many people belting along at this hectic, inhuman pace, talking to the same people six times a day by email, SMS and mobile, producing and consuming, and being seen to be doing these things, at a frantic, mindless, ridiculous rate?

On entering the space an audience member is assigned to a group of 4, each group then being ‘acted to’ by one of the cast. At a signal (usually the appearance of puppet-Tom through a kind of porthole in the backdrop), the group moves to the next panel, rather like a formation dance. You stand throughout the 50-minute piece, and given that six people are speaking at once - though only one right near you - some dialogue is lost. But this is more than compensated for by an extraordinary intimacy and warmth in the acting style, and a constant, fresh energy in the room.

The piece ends as the audience passes a bench crowded with an incredible variety of tyrannical time-pieces, clocks, watches, sun-dials, all testifying to the numerous ways mankind has found to regiment its 168 hours a week. I won’t soon forget the relentless sound of the metronome that starts the piece, either. Written and directed by Alex Desebrock with a cast including Julianne Donovan, Erin Patton, Katharine Elder, Rob Gaetano, Jordan Lee and Glen Lloyd, with splendid puppetry by Michael Bevitt and Dayna Morrissey’s clever set, Clickety Tock is an inventive, brilliantly paced work with much to say and without a single dull moment, well supported by Yarra City Council and the Foundation for Young Australians.

There’s still time to see it.

Tipsy Teacup Productions presents
Clickety Tock

Venue: Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room, Cnr Napier and Condell St
Dates: 29th May – 7th June
Times: 6:30pm & 8:00pm Tues to Sat, 4:30pm & 6:00pm Sun
Cost: $10
Audience capacity: 25
Where: Fitzroy Town Hall Reading Room, Cnr Napier and Condell St
Bookings: (03) 9419 3459

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