Left – Norman Doyle and Amy Imgram
Rabbit by The Good Room: a multifaceted fire cracker of a script, innovatively and beautifully directed, with beautiful performances from a ridiculously talented ensemble. ‘Nuff said.
Actually, I will elaborate a little. But these were the first round of thoughts going through my head as I walked out of Metro Arts, amongst ‘wow’ and (in true Generation Y fashion) ‘that play was totally about me!’
Rabbit unfolds over one night as Bella (Amy Ingram) celebrates her 29th birthday. Along with flashbacks of her father, (Norman Doyle), Bella spends the night with a small group of friends including old flame Tom (Kevin Spink), ex-boyfriend Richard (Samuel Clark), aggressive feminist Sandy (Penny Harpham) and her best friend, and at times enabler, Emily (Belinda Raisin). The night (heightened by alcohol and the thumping of loud music) gets messy as the group reveal secrets, tear each other apart, love each other and try to deal with the fact that they are all now grown-ups.
The script itself is full of wonderfully inpolitically correct one-liners that kept the room vibrating with laughter most of the time. The dialogue moves at a pace that is believable for a night of emotional tensions. The heightened passion from the never-ending rounds of alcoholic beverages push the conversations in both comedic and tragic ways, without ever becoming stupid, boring or alienating the audience.
Director Daniel Evans has never been afraid of speed on stage, and thank god for that. The play moves quickly from the very start, often at times completely manic. As more of Bella’s friends arrive conversations were going so fast on so many different levels that I often felt breathless in keeping up with them. The story included flashbacks of Bella and her father, and these moments of stillness and love were beautifully poignant.
Amy Ingram’s performance of Bella was both hilarious and heartbreaking. She is a completely infectious performer (and I promise I mean that in a good way) with her energy, her laughter, her presence, and her complete and utter fearlessness on stage. I don’t think I’ve seen a stronger ensemble all year – every performer could give and take as well as the next.
The Good Room’s production of Rabbit tapped into a voice not just of Generation Y, but of Australian culture. Rabbit explores the conversations and questions that keep us awake at night, that we only talk about after a respectable amount of alcohol, and showed us that these thoughts are indulgent but also very, very valid.
Damn, did I have fun at Rabbit. I really couldn’t fault it. And trust me, as a young adult from Gen Y, my gushing is disgusting me more than you. And so the battle between idealism and cynicism goes on. But as Rabbit showed us… it’ll probably be okay… one day…
I do encourage every-one to go out, see this production, make up your own mind and tell others what you thought.
The Good Room presents
by Nina Raine
Director Daniel Evans
Venue: Sue Benner Theatre, Metro Arts
Dates/Times: Tue 12 – Thu 28 July 2011, 7.30pm
Tickets: $12 - $20
Bookings: 07 3002 7100 | metroarts.com.au