A small gem of a new Australian play, featuring superb performances.
The packed opening night audience loved this show, which is great fun and showcases some tremendous talent. It has a biting, witty, at times cuttingly sarcastic script and is performed with gusto by its young, sparkling, multi-talented cast.
Even if (like me) you don’t attend a gym and work out, you can still completely relate to this multi-playwright production developed by Josh Forward and Grace de Morgan, which examines the lives of some of the people who work at or attend a local gym. Structured as a series of interlocking monologues, the play explores issues around health, body image, self image, philosophy, parent issues and ‘life, the universe and everything’.
In the tiny downstairs of the Old Fitzroy Theatre, the cramped set includes a barre and mirror, a bench, a treadmill, various weights etc. The mirror and reflection are important, and the audience becomes another mirror, or the silently listening fourth wall.
Why do people attend a gym? Sales guru and owner Joel (the very handsome Michael Drysdale) will tell you it is not just to keep fit; there are all sorts of reasons, although of course fitness is a major part of it, and he has all sorts of sales pitches, varied according to the perceived market.
Anika Herbert shines as step class attendee Kelly, who has a Jane Fonda vision and fixation which she uses to help her get through the class. A witty, delightful performance.
Grace de Morgan is tremendous as Darcy, the stressed out yoga instructor. She has glorious, cutting, witty asides about class members and her yoga training. We learn all about her relationship and break-up with her ex, Alejandro, and her currently chaotic life. She is questioning her whole life path, asking if it is really for her and what she should be doing instead.
Another wickedly delightful performance is given by Aimee Timmins as Janine, a zumba class member. Supposedly feminist, she never shuts up, never stops to think before speaking and reveals personal secrets others would prefer kept quiet. Then she wonders why her friends drop her.
Then there is the quieter, shyer Adam (Sean Corcoran), who is gay and wants to look ‘hot’. He has a terrific monologue in act two about his tentatively visiting a gay club and how the gym could be used as a pickup place.
Finally there is the obsessed Justin (Tom Mesker) who is on the treadmill a lot, heavily into science and anatomy and looking after his body. His hero is Phar Lap and he has a monologue about how long it takes to replace the various areas of your body.
Circuit is a small gem of a new Australian play, featuring superb performances. Three cheers for the support of the Old Fitzroy and Sydney Independent Theatre Company for bringing this new production by young company The Oligarchs to light and life.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Presented by The Oligarchs and Sydney Independent Theatre Company
Director: Josh Forward
Produced by Josh Forward and Grace de Morgan
Lighting design: Alex Berlage
Sound design: David Mackie
Production design: Vicki Nhieu
Running time: 2 hours (approx) including one interval
Adam – written and performed by Sean Corcoran
Justin – performed by Tom Mesker, written by Josh Forward
Joel – written and performed by Michael Drysdale
Janine – performed by Aimee Timmins, written by Amanda Yeo
Darcy – written and performed by Grace de Morgan
Kelly – written and performed by Anika Herbert
The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo
4 – 29 June
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