Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Two of Them

It’s a thought-provoking surreal production with absolutely minimum staging and production, just superb acting, minimal lighting and sound, audience close to the action, and brilliant direction. 

Russell Fewster has delivered another intelligent play. 
4

‘Two of Them’ is a three-actor absurdist exploration of… well, you’ll have to make your own mind up after seeing this world premiere. It is at times whimsical, and other times confronting. There’s no violence, no swearing, no nudity, so it’s safe to bring the billy lids along, but it’s also a play that needs adult experiences of life to get the most out of it.

“Christopher Orchard is an extraordinary talent in that he combines uncommon vision and skill to create art that captures the zeitgeist of our time.” Stephen Rosenberg Fine Art, New York.

Christopher’s extraordinary artwork is the motif that runs throughout the play, informing the action and dialogue, providing a jumping off point for both playwright/director Fewster’s construction, and the actors’ mesmerising performances.

The lighting and sound are sparse but powerful, at times drawing the focus in on the actors, at other times involving the audience. The staging is minimal, as are the props. What one is left with is great acting (no missed lines, despite the play changing shape and dialogue up until very close to the first performance).

The three actors—Nick Bennett, Dom Sweeney, and Sophie Hollingworth—are more than just props for Fewster to play with. Their lyricism, their movements, are fundamental to the unfolding of both the action and the meaning. There is no ‘weaker’ actor here, no one is being carried; three actors of varying generations transform Fewster’s words and direction into a kaleidoscope of emotions, as well as offering a refreshing challenge to the audience. Instead of just passively sitting back and being entertained, Fewster’s play challenges each member of the audience to make sense of the dialogue, movement, lighting, sound, and props. It is theatre for the intellectually curious, theatre for those of us who like to be challenged by what we experience.

I chatted with the writer/director Russell Fewster after the show and he informed me that it is indeed a challenging piece. We know that absurdist theatre is always full of unresolved questions; for Russell, the showdown with the boss is the cathartic point, and the forced friendship between the two men is the catalyst for growth and story-telling. 

It’s a thought-provoking surreal production with absolutely minimum staging and production, just superb acting, minimal lighting and sound, audience close to the action, and brilliant direction. 

And I came away with a new appreciation of the number 40.

Go along and check it out, it is a world premiere play not to miss. The play appears at the MOD on North Terrace, up towards the RAH, and runs until Sat, 09 March. Parking is available at the Adelaide Convention Centre Car Park close to MOD. 

Reviewed by Lee Hopkins

Venue: LECTURE Gallery at MOD. at UniSA
Season: Until 9 March, 2024
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $23 – $28
Bookings: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/two-of-them-af2024

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