This Is Living

Relationships end. Ideally, if you think about it, in death. Yours or the other person’s.

This Is Living shows you the birth and death of the relationship between Michael (Damian Okulic) and Alice (Rebekah Carton). The key emotional turning points in their relationship reveal the vicissitudes of any enduring romantic relationship.

Starting with their ‘cute meet’ on a bus. Through to their first date, where Michael sets his dream for the relationship (he wants to be a dad). To their fights and miscommunications. The birth of their daughter. And the existentialist crisis the survivor goes through when one of them dies.

If for no other reason than to see Liam Borrett’s craftily witty script brought to life, that would be reason enough to see this play. It is, at times (and not always appropriate times), rip-snortingly funny.

But you get so much more from this play than just a great script. The acting is top-notch. Carton’s Alice is passionate, emotive, beautiful, sweet, and endearing. Okulic’s Michael is sensitive, gentle, nice, confident, and endearing.

With the warmth of the connection between the characters of Alice and Michael, one wonders if director Gavin Roach has taken the time to build up high levels of trust between them?

There’s an emotional vulnerability between the actors that’s something that has to be nurtured for it to be brought forth. It’s not something that typically happens naturally.

You’ll leave the theatre reflecting on the relationships in your life. The best way for a relationship to end is  in death, so make sure you leave nothing unsaid, nothing unfinished with the people you love. Do you want your last memory to be an angry word? Or do you want people to know how much you cared?

This Is Living
Meat Market Stables, 2 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne
Performance: Tuesday 10 September 2023
Season continues to 21 October 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Rebekah Carton and Damian Okulic in This Is Living – photo by Alex Winner

Review: Daniel G. Taylor