Presented by Tom Christophersen
Reviewed 14th November 2017
Tom Christophersen’s Business Unfinished is an anthology of ghost stories that blend together spoken word responses from people who share their experiences with the supernatural, the scepticism around them, and Christophersen’s personal curiosity with the topic.
We are welcomed into the performance space of Basem3nt by Christophersen almost completely covered by a black, draped tent with just his resting face exposed. Once the show takes off he uses slow movements to tease his own reveal and introduce the audience to the larger production, which takes places on a floor level stage set up that is covered in props and background memorabilia reflecting both the actor and the stories contained in the work.
The majority of the show is a solo, pre-recorded audio production that mashes others’ voices, music, and dramatic interjections that are then lip synced, danced to, and acted through by Christophersen. The sudden changes in character voice, and drop outs in sounds to harsher cuts of music are all cleverly matched through facial expressions and body language that add distinct separations between the characters. The sometimes camp and playful overacting is a great match when the shock and horror components snap into the set with light, sound and small changes in the performer’s demeanour on stage.
Being a floor level production did make keeping up with some of the smaller props and groundwork difficult at times, particularly when novelty items were introduced just after an intense dramatic scene. The items couldn’t be seen easily without manoeuvring awkwardly and missing a couple slight moments in Christophersen’s facial expressions.
Whilst most of the show is pre-recorded, there is a moment of Christophersen’s own voice cutting through a silent moment in the track. This was a powerful contrast from the edited track and a moment for him to display his skill as a singer. It is also this pacing in the audio, and the timing of lighting and character changes, that presents a darkly humorous and at times creepy show that doesn’t drop the intrigue from the production.
Business Unfinished is a fascinating and layered show. There are a lot of details and precision within the work to take in, from the individual expressions Christophersen neatly injects to match the voices, to the objects that line the entire room for a full immersive experience.
The show runs as part of the 2017 Feast Festival and continues through the week with the final night on Saturday 18th November.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Venue: Basem3nt, Adelaide
Season: 14th – 18th November 2017
Duration: 50 mins
Tickets: $23.00 – $28.00