Become the One is the first play by Victorian playwright, Adam Fawcett. It won the 2018 Playtime Award for new queer writing, and has been remounted in 2022 for an extensive tour of Victoria. This short season at Belco Arts comes at the end of that tour.
Thoughtful, witty and entertaining Become the One explores a romantic relationship between a high-profile AFL footballer and his openly gay partner, written from the perspective of the partner.
Tom is a top AFL player in line for a Brownlow medal. He lives alone in a trendy high-rise apartment. When he finds himself attracted to Noah at their very first meeting, he resists the attraction by putting on a gruff front. Noah, who is in no doubt about his own sexuality, playfully tests the ground with playful banter.
Despite his denials that “he is not gay”, Tom employs Noah as his cleaner, and very quickly their relationship becomes passionate. Eventually Tom invites Noah to move into his apartment, but on the condition that their relationship remain secret from his associates, especially his mother and his adoring fans.
Although Noah agrees to this arrangement and understands Tom’s reasons, he continually questions Tom about the authenticity of his feelings. However when on the eve of the announcement of the Brownlow Medal when Tom announces he will give up his football career as proof of the importance of their relationship to him, Noah is shocked and begs Tom to reconsider his decision.
Stylishly directed by Lyall Brooks with the intimate scenes frankly and sensitively staged, the play is presented in an attractive astro-turf setting which cleverly evokes Tom’s luxury high-rise apartment complete with replica Eames chair.
Atmospheric musical links by Tom Backhouse cover the quick costume changes by the actors to denote the passage of time. These became a little confusing at Belco Arts as apparently the actors couldn’t move behind the set so had to do a quick dash in front of the audience to be on the correct side for their entrances.
Perfectly cast, both actors gave compelling performances. Chris Asimos was perfectly believable as Tom, the buff champion footballer fighting to understand his sexuality but terrified it would become public knowledge.
Similarly Mason Gasowski’s portrayal made it easy to understand Tom’s attraction to Noah’s flamboyance while capturing Noah’s insecurity about the depth of Tom’s feelings and difficulty in accepting that he had Become the One.
Become the One
Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen
Performance: Friday 27 May 2022
Image: Chris Asimos and Mason Gasowski in Become the One – photo by Jodie Hutchinson
Review: Bill Stephens OAM