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Fifty Words @ Alex Theatre

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Get up close and personal to an emotional battleground
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Images - Alex Theatre St.K


The stage is set for a battleground of emotions, expectations, disappointments and revelations, peppered by humour and passion as you are taken on a rollercoaster ride of familiarity and reality for anyone who's ever been in a relationship.

Michael Weller's Fifty Words is directed by Peter Kalos and stars Katharine Innes and Daniel Schepisi and is playing at the Alex Theatre, 1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda. Tickets are $35 ($30 concession) for this limited season show, so BOOK NOW. Shows are at 8pm each night, except for Sunday 28 July 2019 when it's at 5pm.

Take note that there are a lot of roadworks ongoing, coupled with detours and limited parking space; get in early for a stress-free evening and time for drinks and munchies.


Adam and Jan have an evening on their own, their first in a long time, while their 9 year old son is away on a sleepover. Adam is ready and raring to go for a seductive passionate night with his wife, before he leaves on business the following day. Jan, on the other hand, is consumed with work and deadlines and doesn't play easily. What follows is a night that takes a turn down a path of swallowed emotions, needs and unfulfilled expectations for this architect that comes from humble beginnings and his small business entrepreneur wife who hails from a well to do family. Marriage is definitely no walk in the park for these two opposites.

Though the young son Greg is never seen, he's present in revelations of strange behaviours and a lack of friends. He's another cog in the wheel that has anchored this marriage in a touch and go situation. A marriage where two different people with different outlooks keep disappointing each other and walk the fine line between love and loathing. Yet this mismatched couple are torn, but not enough to quite let go, and grapple to be an enduring fit.


This is a play where many will recognise themselves in Jan and Adam. It's a modern day marriage you can identify with and probably some of us have said exactly what they have to our partners. It's a realistic look that draws you in with its familiarity. Does love conquer all when such differing characters cannot find central ground but keep trying? You're left to decide if there's hope when at the end it all fades to black.

The scene is set in an apartment where most of the action takes place in the kitchen, the central hub of the home. The clock on the wall counts down as the night wears down. The bedroom upstairs is cleverly placed and lit for the audience to be a fly on the wall during intimate moments of longing and sexual passion.

Katharine Innes is a powerhouse as Jan as she goes through a gamut of emotions and plays the slightly uptight mouthy wife comfortably, with conviction. Daniel's role is a little more complex in that he has to show weakness and strength as a man. Adam's (the character) awkward body language and constantly calling his wife's name is a cry for attention that could irk some, but there are people who exist who annoyingly say your name constantly.

Take your lover or your friend to this play and you'll have plenty to talk about in the battle of the sexes.

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Why? Fifty Words by Michael Weller @ Alex Theate, St Kilda
When: Sat 27 July to Sat 3 Aug 2019
Where: Alex Theatre, 1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, VIC
Cost: $30-$35
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