I WANT TO SLEEP WITH TOM STOPPARD
- Angela Bennetts
- Sunday, 9 September 2012
As the title hints, I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard by local writer and actor Toby Schmitz, presents somewhat of a theatrical ouroboros. The famed tail-eating snake, a symbol of self-reflexivity, here grapples with the very nature of theatre, the way it’s viewed by the middle class mums and dads of the world, and what it means to the legion of aspiring and failing actors. The fact the script was workshopped by famed American playwright Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) just adds another shiny scale to the metaphor.
A rare family gathering, set literally next to a kitchen sink in an ironic nod to the grand tradition of kitchen-sink dramas, finds father Tom (Andrew McFarlane) newly returned from a dentistry conference in the States, while mother Jackie (Wendy Strehlow) has been keeping herself busy with yogalates and the plight of refugees. When wannabe performer and son Luke (Tom Stokes) brings his unpredictable f*&k, actress Sarah (Caroline Brazier) into the mix, predictably, fireworks erupt. It’s a course-by-course play of power, words, and burnt chocolate mousse, in which the actors shine and the pacing is crisp thanks to director Leland Kean. The only complaint would be with such clever, tight writing, there isn’t more of it – there is the sense I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard could end up being dynastic in scope, operatic in delivery. Watch this snake.
Until Sep 22, The Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach, $25-33 ($42 beer, taco, show), 1300 241 167, rocksurfers.org
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