Play a quick trip through the past lightly

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - RICHARD MAYS

Bare by Toa Fraser Di­rected by Tay­lor Grif­fin & Rhian Firmin for Sim­ple Truth Theatre, The Dark Room, Au­gust 10 - 12

It’s hard to believe this play is head­ing for 20 years old. Bare was Toa Fraser’s first piece, launch­ing a suc­cess­ful stage and screen writ­ing ca­reer.

It calls for two ac­tors play nu­mer­ous char­ac­ters in a va­ri­ety of ur­ban set­tings, in­clud­ing a cinema box-of­fice, a house party, a back yard and a gym­na­sium.

With­out some his­toric ref­er­ences and con­tem­po­rary omis­sions, this comic slice of Kiwi life and its char­ac­ters could still be con­tem­po­rary.

On a sim­ple set, Bri­anna Jude opens and closes the se­ries of quick-fire char­ac­ter ex­changes as Tina, giv­ing an ex­tended mo­tor-mouthed ra­dio sta­tion shout-out to her homies - and to Shake­speare, but adding a clever lisp.

Jude also fea­tures as Venus, a re­cov­er­ing-from-in­jury gym in­struc­tor in search of love and, as it turns out, fam­ily.

Jude’s spar­ring part­ner, James Cor­co­ran is a rev­e­la­tion, es­pe­cially in the roles of ‘‘box-of­fice Dave’’, as the pa­tri­ar­chal grand­fa­ther and the over-friendly neigh­bour with the great ner­vous gig­gle.

The stylised sim­u­lated sex scene in­volv­ing Dave and Venus is hi­lar­i­ously graphic.

The pair’s pacey, en­ter­tain­ing tran­si­tions suc­cess­fully de­pict a neigh­bour­hood where peo­ple cross one an­other’s paths and make brief con­nec­tions, while em­pha­sis­ing the char­ac­ters’ un­der­ly­ing iso­la­tion.

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