Four Faces of Love

FOUR FACES OF LOVE is a collection of four plays created and inspired by the names of for Doris Day tracks. The event showcases a myriad of Sydney based writing, directing and acting talents. 

 FOUR FACES OF LOVE is a collection of four plays created and inspired by the names of for Doris Day tracks. The event showcases a myriad of Sydney based writing, directing and acting talents.
Actors AnonymousSlide Bar (41 Oxford Street, DARLINGHURST NSW) Wednesday, 1 September, 2010
INTRODUCTION again (if you wish) The Doris Day Collection:  ‘The ultimate collector must now possess the source of his obsessive love’.
Collection is the most obvious inclusion in the program, as it is most concerned with the theme. The set up is good; two guys in Day’s favourite eatery at the exact time she regularly visits, waiting to unfurl their devotion. Their observations were witty and well written and the costuming and hair suited the period greatly. 
Where the piece was lacking was in the conviction of the accents. It is an American styled piece and called for American accents. Whilst they were present this reviewer was not entirely sold on their authenticity. 
Robert Shaffron also had a running gag that worked on the first and second attempts but seemed to lose impact in its repetition. This is only a minor observation on what is otherwise a clever period-style script that thematically opened the program in a flamboyant manner serving as a very pleasing start to the evening.

Bye,Bye Baby: ‘Why does love die? An actress struggles to understand the many facets of a mother’s love’
Baby was confronting. The subject of cot death does not make for uplifting viewing. Lim and Beaupart managed to keep a good running dialogue and balance the weighty subject with good characterisation on the part of Lim and a refined authentic performance from Beaupart.
The overlapping of verses was well used to demonstrate the links between both characters. This was a clever technique employed by writer Joanna Eskine that did well to conveying something to the audience something without being too overt. The power of Eskine’s words are the high point here. Full credit must be given to her and the actors for what they brought through this piece. 
The cot prop was a good centre piece and acted as an anchor for the actors. They way it was used to draw the audience’s focus was also well employed by director Alex Walker. Baby was a powerful inclusion in the line up that gave the night the diversity it needed and still complemented some of the running themes in the program. 

Mummy’s Boy: ‘Nature or nurture? A gay boy’s best friend is his mother, right?’ 
Aaron Nilan and Sarah Loxley played mother and son. Loxley looked every bit the suburban trash mother who had experienced a revolving door of men through the better part of her dating life. Nilan gave us the voice of reason in your typical football loving, beer drinking, young, sexualised male, though he possessed a less walked path of such stereotype – his character was gay, and fancied his mum’s latest bloke. 
Matthew Hopkins, the bloke in question, did a great job of maintaining his macho composure through the piece, despite the circumstance of the romantic involvement in which his character was placed. His ‘straight’ character was comic and typical of what an Australian male may seem like to a foreigner. When engaged in sexual relations with Nilan’s character things seemed to get a little over exaggerated.
The simulated sex scenes played to the more comic side of the piece and could have been a little more geared for dramatic effect. Even the gay scene that seemed to have the desired confrontational effect was loosely done becoming farcical which detracted from the piece. 
Nilan did well as the moral compass through which, despite his character’s excitement in the taboo of sleeping with his mother’s boyfriend, he still managed to convey guilt allowing the audience to sympathise with his plight.  Loxley couldn’t have been more convincing as a bogan if she tried. Her portrayal of such was flawless and adequately funny. Costume design also played a nice supporting role to her persona. Though you may not have sympathised with her character you certainly felt pity. 
Daniel Hayward delivered a confronting, comical and telling script that offered each of the actors a lot to work with and for the most part it came to life on stage. Hayward certainly gave the audience something to ponder long after the play had ended and that was a nice touch.

Sushi Wushi Woo: ‘Sushi for lunch, married for life, the freedom of being single’.
Renee Lim and Libby Fleming gave us an insightful look at life and relationships. Their characters represented the trendy corporate 30-something woman who thinks they know what they want in a man only to discover that these men don’t actually exist.  The dynamic between the two was strong; they played off each other well and the pace was fast and sharp. 
The costuming complements their persona with its simplicity and elegance. The choice to act without props added to the performance, encouraging the actors to be more physical with their characters and it payed handsomely. 
Lim’s imitation of an Asian Mother was certainly a treat that went over well with the audience given its authenticity and the feeling that it may well have been a memory of her own past. 
Kate Toon’ s script seemed to draw it’s inspiration from life itself rather than imagination. This was assumed through its ability to place the audience on stage with our characters in the middle of their selection dilemma. 
The only criticism this reviewer has is that there should have been more. This would be great as a full length play and perhaps with a third character in the fray.
Director Danielle O’Keefe did well to keep the pace tight and make good use of the space, drawing the audience into the piece. This was great work from a cast and crew that seemed to move as one and that’s something that makes good theatre great theatre! 
Melinda Schneider was sensational, performing two songs by Doris Day at the outset of the evening, showcasing a strong, talented voice and a clear love for Day. Her charm and charisma washed over the packed audience who were treated to more of her material interspersed between the plays throughout the night.
Marc Kuzma’s SLIDE Bar was the perfect dinner theatre venue for this event and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment. $70 for 4 plays and 3-course degustation dinner. 7pm every Wednesday until November 2010 Bookings: 02) 89151899 or visit [email protected] 

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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