Joanna Murray-Smith makes her directorial debut in this contemporary play. She is also the playwright. L’Appartement is 100 minutes of edgy dialogue laced with wit and ironic barbs. It’s not entirely comedic, there are poignant moments of self reflection, anger and confrontation.
Andrew Buchanan plays an athletic teacher who is aptly named, ‘Rooster’. Very Australian. His wife, Meg is played by Liz Buchanan. They make a very convincing couple. It wasn’t until later that I learned that they are actually married to each other in real life. The raw enthusiasm given and received in Meg’s great cheer-leader performance of Hey Micky now makes more sense. There was spontaneous audience applause at that point.
Accent coach, Helen Howard did such great job on the French accents of Serge (Pacharo Mzembe) and Lea (Melanie Zanetti) that I never doubted they were French. The creatives behind the stage setting and design completely convinced me that I was looking straight into a Parisian apartment. The sultry French love songs sung in husky voices also also added authentic ambience. I was a bit bewildered as to why the highly successful owners needed the extra rent from a listing on Airbnb.
The themes of love, envy, insecurity and altruistic facade are universal. I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural contrasts and those authentic Aussie moments would delight audiences around the world. I won’t reveal the contents of that parcel central to the play. The production was flawless and fluid despite the enormity and speed of the delivered dialogue. A complete success!
Cremorne Theatre – Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Cultural Precinct, Southbank (Brisbane)
Performance: Thursday 8 August 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 31 August 2019
Information and Bookings: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
Image: Pacharo Mzembe, Melanie Zanetti, Liz Buchanan and Andrew Buchanan star in L’Appartement – photo by David Kelly
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan