An impressive solo performance during this year’s Fringe Festival, ‘This Jew Sits’ is a slick and well-constructed piece that engages from beginning to end. The performance is set over the duration of the protagonist’s duty as a shomeret, staying by her grandmother’s body overnight as she recounts her own life choices and her role in traditions and expectations set upon her.
It is soon apparent from the opening of the show that this is a production that has set the pace right, and establishes a professional polished tone that automatically sets it apart from other offerings at this year’s festival. Sarah Reuben is grounded and comfortable in her character, inducing likeability from her character’s undesirable traits. She includes natural comedy and harder-hitting reflections at all the right points.
The technical production of this show is probably some of the best seen yet during the festival, and deserves a shout out. Interactions with pre-recorded voice work can lead to trouble, yet the cues were bang on, with lights and transitions following suit. It is pleasing to see a high level of technical requirements set and adhered to.
There is a real feeling of connection that sparks throughout the production, giving a real concept of engagement that draws the audience in during the longer monologues, yet delivers humourously during the more absurd interactions, that never feel out of place. It is a reflective piece, in true solo-show style. Reuben has shown she has grunt, sustainability, and enthralling performance styles that prove that this first-time solo outing is not only successful and compelling, but the start of more grand performances to come.
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.
‘This Jew Sits’ runs from 24 September to 1 October, 6.30pm (50mins) at The Fringe Hub: Arts House, Parlour Room.
The venue is accessible.
For more Melbourne Fringe 2016, check out our guide and all our reviews.