Writer: Eliana Ostro
Director: Antonia Ward
Reviewer: R. G. Balgray
Imagine if you could plan your life on the basis of knowing when you would die. That is the premise underwriting Ecce Theatre’s Open Road at C Royale, in the Royal Society building in George Street. In a fresh and energetic production, six young actors work through just what this would mean to their lives and loves.
A studio theatre, U-V lighting and sound effects slightly on the loud side, might lead an audience to expect something dystopian. An opening where the youthful cast each deliver brief monologues to their lovers might reinforce the confusion. However, what follows? A metropolitan, ordinary young persons’ version of a dinner party – complete with in-jokes, social class markers, cultural referents, and pretty straightforward characterisation. So far, so cliched, you might think. But hold on – what about these intriguing references to “short lifers”? In among the small talk, the hackneyed cheese jokes and dessert dilemmas, it becomes clear that the “big questions” in life (like who to love, and why) are skewed by the knowledge of their own “expiration date”. It’s to the cast’s credit that what begins a little patchily works its way through a detailed analysis of this alternative future, and ends up being emotionally compelling as the dynamics of their relationships are exposed
Runs until 28 August 2017 | Image: Contributed