Adelaide Fringe 2011
A high school reunion reveals a shocking incident that occurred ten years ago and now three friends must pay for their actions. Fuelled by rage over losing the love of his life to his best friend, Vince accuses John of coercing Amy to sleep with him. John finally admits to doing so, without realising that Vince is taping the entire conversation. Amy enters the scene with a different story and tensions mount as the three of them revisit what actually happened that night.
Vince, a typically obnoxious and aggressive American, seems jealous of his best friend John, a struggling filmmaker, for reasons unclear at the beginning. As the first scene progresses, it is revealed that John slept with Amy, Vince’s ex-girlfriend, and Vince continues to harbour resentment over this fact and perversely wants to learn more about that fateful night. He records the conversation without telling John. The arrival of Amy lays to rest the questions about that night but raises more about the present circumstances and future actions.
The script is prolonged due to the characters’ dialogues circumnavigating the questions at hand. The monosyllabic responses are repetitive and ineffectively develop the compelling and thrilling plot. The actors however retain their characters throughout the play, rarely lapsing their American accents and personalities. The set was a precise impression of a cheap American motel with empty beer bottles strewn around the space for effect and to further convey Vince’s personality. Nick Fagan, who played the brash American, was seamless in his performance, as was Jasmine Bates as Amy. Aaron MacDonald depicted the shy, often overshadowed best friend superbly revealing glimpses of self-assurance in his convictions.
The sound effects were minimal, used only for key off-scene movements and the lighting remained unchanged throughout the play, but these elements were only required at a basic level for this one-act play. The staging and performance was excessive at the beginning with more movement on the actors’ parts than necessary, which detracted from the discourse, and emphasis on the key dialogue was lost as a result.
Despite these slight imperfections, the play was gripping and the performances riveting. Humour, although outlandish, was used appropriately around such a delicate matter and the natural flow of the script made it realistic and appealing to contemporary audiences. It was an engaging psychodrama that was delivered with assertion and encapsulated the genre.