You never know what you’re going to get with independent theatre. It can be inventive and stimulating or infuriatingly obscure. In the case of Do Something Else, now playing at The Old 505 Theatre, it is happily the former.
The 75-minutes of short, overlapping scenes takes the audience on a narrative tour through emotional, psychological and physical incidents, where recurring motifs help give a sense of a complete story. The three performers devised the play during a series of workshops.
Cloe Fournier is a French-Australian artist whose background in dance and movement is evident in the physicality she brings to her scenes. Similarly, Ryuichi Fujimura, a dance artist, moves in a controlled, meaningful way that enhances his performance beyond dialogue. As a sculptor and puppet-maker, Brigid Vidler may seem an anomaly on stage, but she is truly engaging and no doubt has adapted the humour, fantasy and clever use of props from puppetry to this work.
The production elements of the play are impressive. Katja Handt’s set is minimalist and versatile using only desks, chairs, a bed and a few lamps. Michael Pigott, light and sound director, makes clever use of the lamps for stage lighting and props. His soundscape incorporating electronic and ambient music, sound effects and recorded conversations provides aural texture.
The dialogue is sharp, intelligent, witty and delivered with impeccable timing.
Don’t do anything else – see this. (RB)
Until Oct 22, Tue-Sat 8pm. Old 505 Theatre, Lvl 1, 5 Eliza St, Newtown. $25-$35. Tickets & info: www.old505theatre.com
BY RITA BRATOVICH