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Lifetime Guarantee at Theatre Works - Review

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by Jen (subscribe)
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Bold & visually arresting; risks have been taken
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Images courtesy of Theatre Works and Pier Carthew

Theatre Works - 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Seasons Dates - 9 to 26 February 2017
Performance Times - 7.30pm Thu/Fri; 2pm & 7.30pm Sat; 5pm Sun
Get your tickets HERE

WARNING: This production contains coarse language, nudity and sexual themes. Recommended for audiences 16 plus years


From the hands of Ross Mueller, an Australian writer/playwright, this 90 minute show (contains no interval) is having its Australian premier. Where better to begin life than at Theatre Works, renown for supporting theatre artists and championing new Australian work.

A Geelong playwright with many achievements and accolades to his name, Mueller has two works premiering in two cities (the other - A Strategic Plan at Sydney's Griffin Theatre Company) within a week. A series of fortunate events for 2017 theatre goers, penned by a man who will not let you, the audience, become complacent, or let the actors relax. Moving at a cracking pace, romance takes a different turn in this new play.

Director John Sheedy, embarking on his first season at Theatre Works since being appointed Creative Director and CEO of Theatre Works, is a multi-award winning Australian Director. His triumphant production of The Rabbits for Opera Australia two years ago shot him to fame. His life now comes full circle, returning to Theatre Works, where he began as an actor 15 years ago before moving to Sydney to study directing at NIDA.


From the hands of such accomplished creatives, Lifetime Guarantee is at times hilarious and takes an absurd and cynical look at the lives of five characters in a unique way, if not at times disturbing. Romance and other complexities bounce along on a road less travelled in this new Melbourne play, and the focus of relationships formed is not necessarily just between people, but with things as well.

They fall in love with buildings, cars and washing machines in their attempts at a perfect life. After all, objects bring with it a certain comfort of certainty and a lifetime guarantee, don't they?

Tragedies told in a sometimes funny way, a gay couple, a straight couple and a girl, are all looking for perfection in their lives in their own special way. This is a generation that's trying to live up to an ideal in an age where face-to-face now more digital; continues to bring with it, though different, the same bump of complexities to deal with.


Actors Julian Dibley-Hall, Izabella Yena, Candace Miles, Charles Purcell and Mark Constable move efficiently like a well oiled machine in a modern futuristic environment. This is highlighted by great lighting that zaps between scenes as does the whooshing loud sound accompanying it that's startling at first, but comes to make sense as an important tool in telling the tale.

In fact, it's very clever and perfectly employed in this sparse setting that comes with a surprisingly functional shower. You'll just have to go see it to see what I mean.

Yena is outstanding in her delivery as a sharp, quick thinking young woman who has rearranged her whole life to be in her dream job. She also has a very special relationship with machinery.

Dibley-Hall is handsome, complex and sexually charged; very at ease with his character and exuding just the right amount of sexuality to make it believable. Well supported by the rest of the cast, this look at contemporary people in their early 30s working their way through a perfect life is well worth a look as it moves at a whiplash pace.
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Why? Mueller and Sheedy's LIFETIME GUARANTEE at Theatre Works, St KIlda
When: Thu 9 Feb to Sun 26 Feb 2017 - 7.30pm Thu/Fri; 2pm & 7.30pm Sat; 5pm Sun
Where: Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda, VIC
Cost: Adult $38; Concession $30
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