This riveting show is a fabulous collection of six interweaving short plays presented by Melbourne Writers' Theatre (MWT). It's full of unexpected twists and turns and a couple of unexpected dangerous slippery slides.
The brief for writers was to develop a short play featuring just two characters named Tally and Beaux. The location of Flinders Lane was also to feature and the theme of Lost and Found. All scripts were submitted anonymously and were read blind by an independent dramaturg who then gave her six selected scripts to the two Directors (Mazz Ryan and Adéle Shelley). This process is used as an equitable way to create opportunities for all writers, especially new and emerging writers who might otherwise be overlooked in favour of their more experienced counterparts.
Fighting to the frantic end / Credit: Photographer John A. Edwards
Each short play puts vastly different relationships under the spotlight. The result is dark, but sometimes comedic (and in between), and reveals confronting and current controversies such as online scamming, same sex relationships and adultery. The plays examine identity and morals enough to make you think - but not too much that the enjoyment is stripped away.
Although diverse in style and content, I found most very relatable. Without being a spoiler, I will make comment on each of the plays. The Kept Bear by Joe Austin-Crowe was a real tear jerker. In We Need to Talk (Katie Lee), I got so involved I wanted to stand up and shout 'This is never going to work'. I jumped out of my seat with a fright during Imposture (Marie Collie). During Mazz Ryan's Take 2, I felt strongly for the mother and found her question: How did I fail you? compelling. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all start again sometimes?
Do the Deal by Bruce Shearer was the most unique play raising an interesting question: If you could, would you sell your youth? But my absolute favourite was the finale Love is a Dish by Adele Shelley. Her turn of phrases and the acting was brilliant. This finish with a laugh made the night for me.
Many plays start mysteriously and as the story unfolds builds to a tension that creates a drop-dead silence in the room. If you like surprises, like something a little bit different and conclusions that keep you wanting more…. Perhaps an evening of intrigue… make your way down to the La mama Courthouse.
Note:Six Degrees in Melbourne runs for 90 minutes so you are getting more bangs for your buck.
Postscript: Inspired monologues, exciting dialogues and half baked script ideas. Perfectly executed plots, complex characters and scenes that don't work. Beautiful words, flashes of brilliance and possibly the next great Australian play. If you've written it, Melbourne writers theatre will help you develop it!