Reviewed Saturday March 13th 2010
theater simple present 52 Pick Up
Venue: Odeon Theatre, 57a Queen Street Norwood
Seattle’s theater simple have been stalwarts of the Adelaide Fringe since 1988 and have presented TJ Dawe and Rita Bozi’s comedy over several festivals. Given that no two performances are the same however, it remains an audience favourite and a clever piece of writing.
The simple tale of a relationship, from beginning to end and through two latter reunions, is represented over 52 scenes. Each scene in turn, is represented within a deck of playing cards. The play opens with two actors choosing to tell a story. They throw the cards in the air and play out the scenes in the random order that the cards are picked up.
The human mind is a resourceful computer. Much like our ability to read a sentence with all the vowels removed, we easily piece together the romantic tale, regardless of the chaotic order in which it’s told.
Andrew Litzky and Llyssa Holland are both superb, milking every comic moment and switching moods as the cards dictate the action. From laughing one moment to crying the next, they cut into the moment as if the preceding scene had been leading into it. This is no small challenge for any actor, but these two seasoned performers quite literally know this play inside out.
While primarily a comedy, the intelligence of the play’s construction and the brilliance of its execution remain its greatest appeal. It will undoubtedly return for future Fringe seasons. Treat yourself.
Review by Rod Lewis, Glam Adelaide Arts Critic.