Review – Last Drinks/Two Mouths Four Hands
New writing is something we need more of. We should never shy away from discovering new ways of looking at the world, and Sydney-based theatre company Brave New Word is dedicated to doing just that. In their latest production of two short plays, two worlds collide in very different, but equally entertaining, ways.
Last Drinks follows the story of three men whose second home is the now derelict Avalon Pub. They hold shared memories of this place, and for each of them it means something different. This is the place that ties them all together, and when it’s threatened with closure, cracks in their friendship begin to show. Written by Jordy Shea, the script has some lovely, honest moments. Shea captures the essence of modern ‘bromance’ wonderfully. It’s warm, funny and not for the fainthearted. Actor Steve Maresca is hugely energetic as lovable rogue Matt. He’s the glue holding this trio together, and has lovely comic timing.
The second play takes on a more mellow tone. In Two Hands Four Mouths we meet Audrey (Georgia Woodward) and Francis (Alex Beauman), her gay best friend. Assisted by wine, the friends are enjoying a night in, tackling life’s most important issues – sex, love (both lost and longed-for) and Guns N’ Roses. Both actors are charming in their despair. Woodward is delightful as Forever Alone Audrey, and brings a lovely energy to the role. Beauman provides the perfect companion and frenemy. Francis is outwardly flamboyant, but guarded from experiences in his past. As time passes and glasses are drained, their walls are let down. Playwright Nicole Dimitriadis manages to pinpoint the existential crisis of a mid-20’s city-dweller excellently. Amidst the many laughs, there was poignancy and honesty.
The Exchange Hotel provided the perfect setting for both plays. The first was set in a bar, so little was needed to dress the set! After interval, the room had been transformed into the cosy, candle-covered living room of a trendy apartment. Simple and effective.
Brave New Word is proving they are a wonderful platform for emerging Australian playwrights and theatre practitioners. If plays like these can be discovered and brought to life, it can only be a good thing.
Running at the Exchange Hotel in Balmain 17th -19th & 24th – 26th.
Alana Kaye – Theatre Now