BY ANDREW SMALL
Among the offerings in this year’s Mardis Gras Festival bouquet is the Australian premiere of As Bees in Honey Drown, a play about the stories that people turn life into, and the lives that people turn stories into.
An age-old theme ‘ the desire for truth versus the comfort of fiction ‘ is given a contemporary spuce-up, courtesy of two alluring protagonists.
First we have Evan Wyler, a writer on the cusp of recognition, eager to trade austere anonymity for decadent, Capote-esque New York literary fame. Alexa Veer de Vere, a sassy, saucy, self-invented socialite, is the woman who promises to deliver this celebrity to him ‘ at a cost.
Fuelled by Wildean one-liners, Douglas Carter Beane’s script is a slightly bumpy ride. The story lurches from modern fable to revenge tragedy, to love story, then squeezes in a clutch of pop culture references for good measure.
Thankfully, the unwieldy material is contained in this excellent production by Darlinghurst Theatre. The pared-down set and faultless soundtrack maintain the show’s focus, while a cast of great-looking actors ensure that the audience’s attention is kept on a tight leash.
Until March 7. Darlinghurst Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point. Tickets: $31-$36, 8356 9987 or www.darlinghursttheatre.com