Death. A topic with an abundance of artistic opportunities. From the very moment the audience is invited into the intimate space of the Parlour Room, there is a strong sense of artistic experimentation already underway. The players acknowledge the audience as the remain deep within their roles, and we, the voyeurs, feel like we have intruded into a private and grim occasion. Awkwardly, (and delightfully positively so), the first scene unfolds at a perfect pace with a delicate exponential absurdity. It was clear at this moment that this was going to be an odd show, and what a gem it certainly was.
‘Death Party’ pulls together a dynamic mix of comical characters, disturbing interludes, and touching storytelling. Louise Joy McCrae’s direction of George Gayler and Sarah Reuben’s conceptual mixture of deadly short scenes is spot on, allowing the strengths of its three actors shine through and capitalise fully on the wonderful range of material present. Sarah Reuben has a strong diversity; sustaining the intimate moments while never failing to bring the energy and excitement to the more absurdist characters that she plays. Jessamae St James has a quality that is alluring and engaging; an integral presence that is complimentary to the central characters she is portraying. Jimmy James Eaton is undeniably solid in his craft as an actor, proving his involvement, whether the role is large or small, is always consistent, grounded, and heavily supportive. All three performers should be very proud of their role in the show. In fact, that doesn’t need to be said; it’s proven.
Death. A topic with an abundance of artistic opportunities. In ‘Death Party’ it has been written, workshopped, and honed to an impressive level of variety. I won’t ruin the show with mentioning specifics; the audience should go in knowing that they are to be in for an odd, and competently drawn together morbid treat. Well, maybe one reference that made me laugh out loud – barbeque shapes. It’ll make sense when you see it, unless you forgo the safety of a booking. By the size of the crowd on the night, this one seems to be very popular.
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.
‘Death Party’ runs from 18-25 September, 6.45pm (50mins), with the exception of
Fringe Hub, Parlour Room, Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall.
The venue is accessible.