Crush, presented by The Owl and Cat Theatre, explores love, lust, and fear within the confines of a very small newspaper office in Melbourne. This directorial debut by Isobel Summers is well worth seeing and it represents a strong and confident step into the world of directing.
What is most exciting about this production is that it takes the incredibly clever writing of Rob Young and couples it with a confident and quick, at times almost Gilmore Girls paced, delivery. The script provides the cast with a challenging and heady mix of dialogue, direct address to the audience, and even some narration of actions by the characters themselves. All this makes for a theatrical experience that will keep you in your toes!
The performers, Mardi Edge, Seb Muirhead, and Fiona Scarlett are very well matched. They are all incredibly present and responsive to each other. All three have no problem differentiating between dialogue, asides, and narration. Crush is a bit tricky because sometimes the other characters can hear what is being said about them and sometimes they can’t, but the actors take this in their stride.
I simply must mention the ‘stunt’ at the end of the play – and no, I will not tell you what it is here, so if you are intrigued you will have to go see it for yourself! I still can’t quite figure out how they did it. It looked like they just did it, no trickery of the light and no secret concealed apparatus to fool the audience. I can’t figure it out. Needless to say, I am not the only one stumped by this because the tension and disbelief in the audience is palpable during this sequence. If it is in fact all a clever ruse, I doff my hat to Summers, bravo!
As her first solo-directed play, Crush was an excellent piece to test Summers’ directing muscles. Her direction ensured that what could have been a confusing piece was clean and easy to follow.
Crush makes for a very fun night out, so go, laugh, and enjoy!
Jen is a Kiwi living in Melbourne, she loves puns, embroidery and Stephen Fry.