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Bed Reckoning at Melbourne Fringe - Review

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by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
True feelings emerge over the wreck of an Ikea bed
On the eve of Australians being asked to vote in the postal poll on same sex marriage, it's appropriate that one of the first shows in the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2017 features a gay couple trying, unsuccessfully, to assemble an Ikea bed. To be more accurate, one-half of the couple, Joel (Jack Beeby), is trying to assemble the bed, while the other, Sasha (Andre Sasalu) tries to provide advice, which is largely being ignored.

Bed Reckoning at Melbourne Fringe 2017 - review
Joel (Jack Beeby) tries to construct the Ikea bed, while inadvertently dismantling his relationship


Joel fails to understand why Sasha is becoming increasingly unhappy and pouty. Sasha's sentiments seem out of proportion to the issues associated with bed construction. The problem, it turns out, is that it's a SINGLE bed. The implication is that Joel is happy for the relationship to continue along in its current casual, uncommitted path, while Sasha clearly has other ideas. Frustrated, Sasha stalks off.

Enter Joel's good friend and Julie Andrews tragic, Corinna (Bianca Bruce), ready to hand out sound advice and to try to bring Joel to his senses. While at times a bit misguided, she does seem to have the best interests of both men at heart as she tries to steer the course of their relationship.

Bed Reckoning at Melbourne Fringe 2017 - review
Corinna (Bianca Bruce) tries to counsel Joel on the errors of his ways


This is the framework for this funny, original musical comedy, written by Melbourne based duo, Caleb Darwent and Nicholas Gray (The Adulteresses, Sophisticated Lady). Incorporating clever, witty banter, some delightful poignant moments and a wonderful musical score, Bed Reckoning is 50 or so minutes of engaging entertainment.

There is great cohesion between the three main characters (along with the fourth character, newcomer Paul Jones, who plays an excellent cameo role as the alternative 'love interest'). I also appreciated the balance achieved between the characters - from the rather laconic Joel to the more passionate Sasha and exuberant Corinna. It's nicely weighted in what is a credit both to the writing and the actors.

While the clever dialogue steals the show, I must compliment Sasalu on his wonderful singing voice. It was no surprise to learn that he is classically trained; his beautiful baritone voice really has the 'wow' factor and it gave me goosebumps. I also enjoyed Bianca Bruce's Julie Andrews inspired music - at times it is so over the top as to sound more like a Mozart operatic aria than a Sound of Music special, but it works well in the show.

Bed Reckoning at Melbourne Fringe 2017 - review
Sasha (Andre Sasalu) - voice of an angel


There's depth to this show; it covers a lot of ground in a relatively short time. It's engaging, it holds your interest throughout, and it has you hoping for a happy ending - and I don't just mean that the bed finally gets built! Along the way, it is peppered with lots of laughs.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable show and recommended viewing.

Bed Reckoning contains coarse language and adult themes.

Bed Reckoning plays at 7pm each night until Sunday 17th September at The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne.

Tickets are full - $32, concession - $28. Click here to buy tickets online, or call The Butterfly Club on (03) 9663 8107.

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The images in this article were taken by the writer and are subject to copyright. They are not to be reproduced without the permission of Weekend Notes.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? Clever script and great performance = 50 minutes of pure fun
When: 7pm each night until Sunday 17th September
Phone: (03) 9663 8107
Where: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne
Cost: Full - $32, concession - $28
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