Photos - Lisa Businovski
When you read about the latest offering at The Blue Room Theatre, don’t do as I did and mistakenly think you are about to watch the stage version of the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.
Though the two shows do have comedy in common, that’s where the parallels end. Nevertheless When Harry Met Harry by independent theatre maker flaming locomotive productions does not disappoint.
In his one man show Allan Girod shows his diverse talents as an actor, writer and producer. As his writing debut, the show is a credit to his skill and I am sure we can look forward to his future endeavours as well.
The central character in this show (not surprisingly) is Harry, a printing department manager who lives in a delusion world where he believes his customer service and productivity is second-to-none. Yet Harry is a tyrant when it comes to procedure and standards, making the lives of staff around him miserable.
The show explores the theory of whether we are better to avoid or confront our fears and whether stepping outside our comfort zone can be a catalyst leading to positive personal growth.
Girod manages to captivate the audience despite a set consisting only of a desk, chairs and minimal props.
Music and lighting is used effectively to denote scene changes, flicking between dream sequences depicting Harry’s life as a young man and then as an adult. Through the change of voice and adjustment of character, Girod easily changes from child to adult.
Girod also plays another character in the show, a dynamic showman who is hired as a personal development coach who teaches Harry interpersonal skills It never ceased to amaze me how quickly Girod flicked between insecure angry Harry and the larger-than-life annoyingly positive trainer. This indeed proves the diverse abilities of his acting skills, through changes in accent and mannerisms we were quickly transported between each character.
Audience involvement added a clever element to the show. The intimacy provided by the Blue Room Theatre lent itself well to this and the audience was quick to take part, themselves becoming a part of the production.
An excellent night out that won’t break the bank, this show is worth a look – so too is the venue, it boasts a charming little bar for pre-show drinks and excellent front of house including nibbles at the conclusion of the performance.
The Blue Room Theatre and flaming locomotive productions present
When Harry Met Harry
Written, devised and performed by Allan Girod
Directed by Igor Sas
Venue: The Blue Room Theatre, 53 James Street Northbridge
Dates/Times: 8.30pm Tuesday - Saturday, 11 - 29 May, 2010.
Meet the Artists: Wednesday 19 May
Tickets: $25 full, $20 conc. Blue Room Theatre Members: $20 full, $15 conc.
Bookings: www.blueroom.org.au | 9227 7005