Reviewing ‘The Critic’, a play centred on a play review, sounded like an interesting experience. It also turned out to be a very entertaining and thought-provoking evening.
The plot is a simple one. Jamie has landed her dream job as a theatre critic for a major newspaper. Her friend, Emma, is an emerging playwright who calls upon Jamie to review her new play, hoping it will give her a much-needed career boost.
Emma hates the play, which puts her in a difficult position: to lie and praise the play, or be honest and risk losing her friendship, as well as her professional integrity.
This is a play which raises questions on the power of opinions, unknown biases, influences, revenge, and of course friendship. The world of professional theatre critiques is certainty portrayed as harsh with personal vendettas rife. That, however, makes good viewing.
This is a well-acted play with three dimensional characters in its small cast. Special recognition is due to Rose Flanagan, who plays Jamie’s housemate. She succeeds in bringing simple humour to the production.
In a small and quirky venue, the audience is closely connected and engaged with the cast. Bitten By Productions’ set is basic but cleverly conveys the plays Jamie is reviewing and the dilemma with which she is faced.
I am still deciding whose side I would take and encourage you to come and decide for yourself. And a final disclaimer: I am not associated with any of the cast or producers of this play!
Celebrating for years living in Melbourne, Rachel is a fan of theatre, food, the outdoors, and all things new and exciting.
‘The Critic’ runs until Sat. 15 October, 7pm, at the Voltaire in North Melbourne. Book tickets online.
This venue is not wheelchair accessible.