Often where we finish our evening bears absolutely no relation to where we intended to be when we started it. This seemingly obvious idea is explored by Kieran Carroll in his new work, 'Friday Night, In Town', which follows the lives of fourteen very different people over the course of their Friday night out.
Often where we finish our evening bears absolutely no relation to where we intended to be when we started it. This seemingly obvious idea is explored by Kieran Carroll in his new work, Friday Night, In Town, which follows the lives of fourteen very different people over the course of their Friday night out.
From the blaring house beat of its musical opening to the quiet, almost anticlimactic ending, Friday Night, In Town is definitely not a classical piece of theatre. With strong use of music and setting, the stories weave their way across the stage, even using other performers as pieces of set. Blending stories interweave in strange and unexpected ways, delving deep into what makes each character tick.
Carroll's use of dialogue is masterful, with a relaxed and easy style that suits his story and characters perfectly. Of particular note is the 'intermission' monologue, delivered with impeccable emotion by veteran performer Jeremy Kewley, which stands as a shining example of beautifully written and delivered soliloquy in modern Melbourne theatre. On the whole, it was startling how accurate and familiar much of the dialogue sounded, with various Melbourne stereotypes shining through.
With experimental theatre come dangers, and Friday Nigh, In Town suffered slightly from balance issues, both between the cast and the background music and between cast members. However, in some cases this worked rather well, with the drunken philosophy of 'Sammie,' portrayed by Natalia Askenova, all the more poignant for its mild incomprehensibility.
Special mention must go to Lex Ross and Kristy Barnes-Cullen, whose portrayal of an 'odd couple' of unlikely new friends, separated by a seemingly insurmountable generation gap, was sensitive and endearing. Finding the humour in two people so desperately lonely can not have been an interesting task, but was managed with aplomb.
Strange, fun, a little silly, often scarily true-to-life, Friday Night, In Town is a strong new play from a fantastic Australian voice. With a stellar cast and the fantastic direction of Noel Anderson, La Mama have brought Melbourne theatregoers a brilliant piece of solid Melbourne theatre.
For the next few weeks, La Mama will match any donations made at any of their shows to charities supporting those affected by the bushfires.
Friday Night, In Town
La Mama - 11 February 2009