‘If the analogy of Thompson sub-machine gun anatomy applies to the performance of Claire Nicholls and Kellie Tori, it’s difficult to distinguish the trigger from the murderous 6mm round.’
Review for The Gist – Alex First (The Blurb):
‘This fabulous little play is mesmerising. The intense dynamic between the two actors is framed perfectly by the intimate basement space at Bard’s Apothecary. It’s one of the best plays I’ve seen in a while: great dialogue and a true character driven storyline. Great writing, great acting in a perfectly gritty space. Go see it.’ (Ros Willett, Former Board Member, Theatre Works, 2022).
‘Waiting for Leske … via Beckett … through Pinter.Spent the first ten minutes fathoming: waiting in anticipation, expecting to learn who these thugs were: hit-men, gangster assassins, agro bovver boys? Were they even thugs? Or just disgruntled lackeys of a small-time, tyrannical boss. (Although the threat of the knife-play and the raised, weaponised chair, left little doubt as to the boyos’ mutual intents.)
And then, gratefully, it dawned: none of the conventional plot and structure considerations of traditional theatre were applicable or even relevant. This was about the moment, the observable and palpable instance(s) when characters in dire conflict with each other reveal (or further conceal) themselves, where power struggles vacillate back and forth, and grievances, mundane, extraordinary or otherwise, are determinedly being played out.
The rhythms of the script and its demanded rapid-fire dialogue pulse relentlessly so when the duly choreographed pauses, stillnesses and silences come – and they do – it’s a relief to find we – as audience – are able to breathe again. Such a deliciously perverse if uncommon pleasure it is these days to be disturbed, psychologically and physically unsettled, while watching a piece of theatre.
The performances of the two actors; Claire Nicholls and Alex Cooper – are electric. Honed. Riveting. Edgily unpredictable; even scarily so, considering the close and menacing intimacy to the audience of the play’s action, particularly in the musty, claustrophobic atmosphere provided by the Bard’s Apothecary cellar. (‘Oh, true apothecary, thy drugs are quick’). Cameron Sievers’ direction – as ever – is sharp and tight, uncompromising and ruthless.
Thankfully, few answers to the scenario are ultimately provided. Only the pervasive sense of menace remains. And the satisfaction of a scintillatingly uncomfortable night in the theatre. More, please, Cameron.’ (Phil Sumner – independent theatre reviewer, 2022).
‘The strongest new writing on the Melbourne stage.’ (Sarah Wallace – The Plus Ones).
‘…brilliant, cutting edge, hilarious… Too many people play it safe with big companies and known productions… what your show offers can’t be replicated on a big stage… I hope both you and the writer get seen in this by an TV industry pro. It’s that good. An Australian off the wall sketch show.’ (David Cubley – independent theatre reviewer, 2021).