Play a quick trip through the past lightly
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.