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Couch Potato: An Australian Comedy - Review

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A bizarre story of a man stuck in a holding pattern
wit, couch potato, review, theatre, australian comedy, bluestone church arts space, wit inc, hayley lawson-smith, belinda campbell, jessica lawrence, jennifer piper, mark salvestro, luke styles
Images by writer unless otherwise noted

CLICK HERE to download program & purchase tickets

Bluestone Church Arts Space, 10A Hyde Street, Footscray
12 27 February 2016

wit, couch potato, review, theatre, australian comedy, bluestone church arts space, wit inc, hayley lawson-smith, belinda campbell, jessica lawrence, jennifer piper, mark salvestro, luke styles
Opening Night

Directed by Belinda Campbell, w i t inc's play Couch Potato by Playwright Hayley Lawson-Smith is about Robert who lives in his parents home. His life is as it was when they were alive. He hasn't quite moved on. His sister Lisa tends to micro-manage him and his best mate Lorrie just wants him to get it on with a woman.

One day, he comes home to find the place has been cleaned, the cooking has been done and there's a girl asleep on his couch. She's a heavy sleeper and doesn't wake up no matter what.

wit, couch potato, review, theatre, australian comedy, bluestone church arts space, wit inc, hayley lawson-smith, belinda campbell, jessica lawrence, jennifer piper, mark salvestro, luke styles
Writer Hayley Lawson-Smith on the left and Director Belinda Campbell

The excerpt below from the program sums up how perplexed Robert is.

'God she does sleep soundly,
doesn't she? Is she even alive?'

'Yes she's alive! I saw her move.'

'Are you sure?'

'Pretty sure.'

'Maybe we should check.'

'What, you think she came
in here, cooked a casserole,
rearranged my kitchen and
then just dropped dead?'


I get that it's a bizarre circumstance, perhaps even far fetched. However there was little promised comedy to be seen on stage or heard from the audience.

Robert running around trying to be or at least look perplexed for a good part at the beginning of the play was very hollow and empty to digest. Carrying that moment for the most part on his own was not necessarily the best decision as there were a lot of dead spots which made it even more obvious how disengaging it was.


If this was about communication, it didn't speak well to me at all. For the first half, I would have easily volunteered to be the sleeping girl on the couch, as I was having a hard time keeping awake once boredom had set in.

I do believe it did not successfully reach its mission, considering it was about communication. It didn't engage me at all, nor did the actors show any desperation to connect.

wit, couch potato, review, theatre, australian comedy, bluestone church arts space, wit inc, hayley lawson-smith, belinda campbell, jessica lawrence, jennifer piper, mark salvestro, luke styles
Image courtesy of w i t incorporated

The only time I was engaged was during the scene when Robert's sister Lisa and his friend Lorrie reminisced about missed opportunities. They were both very comfortable on stage and for that brief moment I felt the warmth of their portrayal. However it wasn't enough for me to come away feeling fulfilled.

No acting was required by the girl on the couch. The venue itself was a lovely space.

wit, couch potato, review, theatre, australian comedy, bluestone church arts space, wit inc, hayley lawson-smith, belinda campbell, jessica lawrence, jennifer piper, mark salvestro, luke styles
The Doll Hospital - Play reading 25 Nov 2016; Macbeth - 8 to 28 Aug 2016; A Scandal in the Weimar - Play reading 24 Jun 2016; Fairy Tale News - 3 to 9 Apr 2016
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Why? Couch Potato - an Australian comedy by w i t incorporated
When: 12 to 27 February 2016
Where: Bluestone Church Arts Space, 10A Hyde Street, Footscray, VIC
Cost: Tickets $32/$28
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