What happens when all the controls, checks and balances we shape a relationship through counselling and hard work to keep the peace are thrown out of whack by the introduction of a new element in your lives?
Melt down that is what!!!
This hilarious, fast paced relationship farce, played in about 20 short rapid fire vignettes, shows how such fine micro management of one’s marital relationship can lead to disaster and heartbreak.
Linda Cookson as interior designer Helen and Anthony Bradshaw, an advertising executive Frazer, play an organised and self-controlled couple who have found themselves in a place of mutual support and comfort after years of working through their relationship when their friends ring to ask if they would mind looking after their Rottweiler, Phoebe, for 8 days.
Frazer is quite miffed when Helen decides, without discussion or consultation to look after Phoebe whilst their friends head off for some relationship counselling Helen has been advising for some time. The first crack in their self-defense armour.
He is not happy about babysitting the dog, but all that changes after Frazer decides to take the dog for a walk. Almost enraptured by the experience he enthuses Helen to join him on a walk and they both rapidly fall into the joy of having a dog in their lives and a sense of other purpose, their insular lives opened to new friends they meet in the dog park and the absolute joy they both seemed to gain from this distraction in their otherwise predictably organized lives.
The pace quickens up after Phoebe does a bolt on Frazer as he distractedly leaves the front door open to go back for his wallet. When Helen arrives home Frazer’s panic peaks and they spend the next 4-5 days endlessly wandering the streets and parks, distraught and panicked to point of breakdown of all their finely tuned self-discipline apparatus leaving their careers and their relationship in shambles.
Director Meredith Fuller has created a highly entertaining, very dark comedy that will speak to many of us on so many levels about the traps of life.
Both Linda and Anthony are superbly on song with their performances, the hysterics caused by their breakdowns and her explosive monologues were superb and we also get taste of Anthony’s baritone brilliance when he sings his darling a love song.
Relief for their angst was finally found with the arrival of the ‘old man’ played by Brian Walsh as he appeared with Rottweiler Atticus, who played the role of Phoebe superbly, such control, such presence…for a dog…haha
Get along, it is a hoot!
The Epicentre Upstairs Theatre – “epicentre is the calm point inside disturbance” – is a new and exciting little theatre in Caulfield.
Assistant to Director – Amanda Reeves
Theatre Hand – Julian Zilinskas