Circuit

Lynne Lancaster

A small gem of a new Australian play, featuring superb performances.
Circuit

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

 

Circuit

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

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Lynne Lancaster is a Sydney based arts writer who has previously worked for Ticketek, Tickemaster and the Sydney Theatre Company. She has an MA in Theatre from UNSW, and when living in the UK completed the dance criticism course at Sadlers Wells, linked in with Chichester University.