Married at First Sight (MAFS) 2021 alumni Johnny Balbuziente will star in Fourthcoming – a brand-new interactive rom-com by shake & stir theatre co at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) Cremorne Theatre this October.
In this adults-only reality-theatre production, Gwen – played by Cece Peters (True Story with Hamish & Andy, The Wrong Girl) – is in a rut. A love rut. Keen to break the cycle once and for all, she embarks on a series of four first dates with one explosive goal in mind.
Balbuziente will take on the role of all four love interests, with the audience invited to weigh-in on whether Gwen should ‘swipe left or swipe right’.
This is an exciting new direction for shake & stir theatre co – revered for its stage spectacles, which most recently include A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Fantastic Mr Fox and Jane Eyre.
shake & stir co-Artistic Director Nelle Lee – who will write and co-direct Fourthcoming – said it was exciting to be working on a comedy dealing with sexual expression, which puts the female in the driver’s seat.
“We want to create something that is unique, sexy and fun, but also heartbreakingly honest. So often, ‘the female gaze’ is depicted as emotional, intimate, soft and feminine; but can’t it also be loud, stimulating and maybe… just a little bit dirty,” said Lee.
“Our female protagonist Gwen is your average person, there is seriously nothing particularly special about her from the outside.”
“As our audience is given a glimpse into the inner workings of her mind, they become her best friend, her sounding board, her confidant – which allows us to journey with her as she explores some of her wildest fantasies, but not before she deals with deep-seated insecurities.”
“We want to shine the light on the fact that for a lot of women, fraught relationships with food, sex and self-worth are not only common – but perfectly normal. Whatever normal is,” said Lee.
Balbuziente said he was chuffed to return to the stage to play four very different characters with a script that was fresh, naughty and totally now.
“Wait till you witness what some of these guys get up to in their quest to impress Gwen – Fourthcoming will make a MAFS dinner party look like a high-tea luncheon,” said Balbuziente.
“I grew up obsessed with ‘choose your own adventure’ books. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to act out in one, on stage every night. This is going to be a completely unique event for the audience.”
“Just like the experts on MAFS, our audience will play the matchmakers each night – will every combination have a happy ending? You’ll just have to wait and see.”
shake & stir theatre co presents Fourthcoming in the Cremorne Theatre – QPAC from 23 October 2021. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.qpac.com.au for details. Checkout the trailer here!
Image: Johnny Balbuziente – courtesy of shake & stir theatre co