Counting the cost of spending
PERTH theatre-maker Jeffrey Jay Fowler wants you to scrutinise your spending.
Not just the money you fork out but the time, effort and emotion you outlay as well.
“As an artist, I’m constantly thinking ‘is what I’m doing worth it?’,” he said.
“With my new play, Price Tag, I was thinking ‘how do I know if I’m spending my life on the right things?’ and recognising that payment isn’t just financial.
“We pay in time, we pay in love and consideration. If you are in a relationship, you are making an investment in that relationship.
“You are paying for everything you do and often that is very rewarding and sometimes it isn’t.”
Price Tag – showing at Fringe World Festival – is the first play Fowler has written and directed in four years. A comedy with an absurdist edge, it takes place at a dinner party where a quarrel between the rich and poor arises.
“Two couples of very different incomes sit down and have a drink together and as the night progresses, their identities change in that the person that is privileged in the room, randomly, absurdly, rotates,” Fowler said.
“So, what if you sat down with friends and one had a lot more money than the others?
“You’ve got to think about how people with a lot more money act; sometimes they like to pay for things, they like to be showy and order the most expensive wine on the list, and that can have various effects on the people around them.
“How does the amount of money you have change your identity?”
Fowler is an actor, writer, director and Black Swan State Theatre Company associate director but sees himself primarily as an entertainer.
“I really think that theatre can’t be smashing people in the face and telling them they are doing the wrong thing and looking at moral culpability in a world of privilege,” he said.
“I do actually think people pay money to be entertained and I want to honour that contract.”
Actor/writer Jeffrey Jay Fowler’s new show Price Tag is about the divide between rich and poor and plays for Fringe.