Melbourne Fringe 2011

Life is Something

0 Comments 09 October 2011

Directed by Vlady T and written by his alter ego Bradley William George Klendo, ‘Life is Something’ addresses the absurdity of life and our chase for its meaning with a decent bunch of odd characters.

Mark (Leigh Ormsby) and Cathy (Rebecca Fortuna) love each other but their dissatisfaction with their banal lives start to ebb away at their relationship, making them scathing and resentful to each other. They use travel, drugs and sex to deflect their responsibilities to each other and their lives. They seek help from the seductive Lilly (Dayna Boase), a psychiatrist, who only quells their problems with more prescription medication. Mark’s friend Liam (James Straiton) offers him some LSD to alleviate his boredom, while Max (Billal Hassani) watches in disgust, threatening to kill everyone.

The problem with ‘Life is Something’ is that there is only so much to discuss in a one-hour play. It ends up sweeping over everyday philosophical quandaries but never fully grasping it. Liam provides us with moments of poignant reflection, but it is quickly forgotten within the next scene. Perhaps that’s exactly what Vlady T wants to address – life isn’t filled with deep, philosophical epiphanies. Nor do we remember all of it.

While the play does not push any conventional boundaries of theatre, it certainly gives it a good hard jab in the chest, cleverly appropriating elements of Theatre of the Absurd into the play’s narrative and structure. ‘Life is Something’ seems like an interesting but meaningless play at first, so to sustain our interest, we try to add meaning from their situation.

Despite it enhancing the absurdity of the play, the breaking of the fourth wall is very tacky and done too often. It feels very contrived. Having set up the characters for monologues, the sudden addition of this reflexive style – Cathy is aware we are all watching her – proves jarring to the play’s pace. But again, perhaps this is just another reference to life’s ups and downs!

‘Life is Something’ is not a perfect play, but neither is life. If you like to have your head philosophically messed with, this might be the play for you.

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