L'Appartement, written by playwright, screenwriter, novelist and first-time Director Joanna Murray-Smith, is playing at QPAC in South Brisbane now until the 31st of August. This side-splitting comedy is fast, clever and far too real to be comfortable. It is hilarious, razor-sharp and exists within a storyline with incredible depth and substance.
The Plot: Rooster (Andrew Buchanan) and Meg (Liz Buchanan) are on their dream holiday. They are in Paris in a swanky Airbnb with no twin toddlers in sight. It's meant to be the honeymoon they should have had, a chance to reconnect in the city of love. Enter their hosts, Serge (Pacharo Mzembe) and Lea (Melanie Zanetti), the prototypical successful couple. Not a hair out of place, not a thing on their benchtops (gasp), perfection, perfection, their lives are simply perfection. The brief encounter with their departing hosts sparks a series of wined fueled conversations that derail their holiday.
Pacharo Mzembe, Melanie Zanetti, Liz Buchanan, photo by David Kelly
L'Appartement touches on global and domestic subjects. It addresses cultural divides, etiquette, marriage and ethics. As Rooster and Meg hold up a figurative mirror and evaluate where they are in life in comparison to Serge and Lea, I am sure the entire audience did their own 5 minute check-up.
Andrew and Liz Buchanan were hysterical. I can't imagine better casting. No more than fifteen minutes in I was in clear and present danger of a giggle fit. The pair parkoured their way through the apartment showcasing their ability for physical comedy. The script also allowed for a full spectrum of emotional exploration within the union.
Andrew Buchanan and Liz Buchanan
Pacharo Mzembe plays Serge the Research Doctor / Futbol Star and Melanie Zanetti as Lea, the National Geographic photographer. They both floated across the set with a hint of air and grace as only the French can do. I suspect they had a superb accent coach as they were quite convincing.
L'Appartement is a great play to introduce to a theatre virgin, it is undeniably funny, and the drama enters through a post delivered trojan horse. It has it all, including the best ending, if there was an award for the best closing scene - L'Appartement wins it this year.
Bravo Joanna Murray Smith and Queensland Theatre!
Ps: Joanna, I have so many questions about the Argentinean neighbour. How did he react? Was he offended? Is there a sequel I can read somewhere?
Cast: Andrew Buchanan - Rooster Liz Buchanan - Meg Pacharo Mzembe - Serge Melanie Zanetti - Lea
Director: Joanna Murray-Smith Designer Dale Ferguson Lighting Designer Ben Hughes Composer/Sound Designer Guy Webster Warnings Contains medium level, frequent coarse language and adult themes including low level sexual references and partial nudity.
I am gob smacked that this review calls it a ‘side splitting comedy’! It features a scenario of continuous domestic arguments, yelling and shouting, continuous complaining and a dysfunctional Australian couple who damaged an Airbnb hosts property, steal their belongings, and threaten their hosts upon leaving.
The French accent of the 2 actors hosting the Airbnb was extremely thick and over the top, and very difficult to understand.
I find it hard to believe that the above reviewer actually sat through this disturbing 100 minutes at all.
NOT ENTERTAINING. If you want to be entertained, don’t go to this show.
It’s a drama about dysfunctional people who don’t get on.