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The Twelve Plays of Christmas @ TAP Gallery

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by Maddy Butler (subscribe)
A Sydney based writer, director, actor. Loves going out and exploring what Sydney has to offer.
Event: -
Song, dance, comedy and improv in Darlinghurst
'The Twelve Plays of Christmas' is an enjoyable 90-minute romp. Seven performers inhabit the stage in this no budget production which takes the audience through 12 different pieces.

In honour of the song, 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', the title of each piece commences with a number.

The program
To be sustainable, they recycle the programs.

Very much informed by popular culture, the show is a comedic mishmash of song, dance, sketch, improvisation and audience interaction. Under Benita de Wit's direction, the actors form a well-oiled ensemble and everyone is in tune with each other.

We start with a musical number, '12 plays of Christmas', a grand, rollicking song showcasing the dancing and singing talents of all seven performers. The show carries on with a few sketches (and features a tap dance) until a trivia session, '8 rounds of trivia'. Our presenter, played by Jeremy Yao, divides the audience up into two teams, who compete for an apparently "really great" prize. (I can safely say that the prize is pretty great, indeed.)

The actors deliver an impressive improvisation session in '5 shades of grey'. Audience members are asked to shout out different things, which are then incorporated into an improv skit by one or a few of the actors. The skits are quick, well timed and laugh out loud funny.

The highlight of the show is '2 star crossed lovers', in which actors Liam Bradbery and James Buckingham perform a 10-minute version of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Using the dialogue of the original play, Bradbery and Buckingham switch back and forth between characters in this hilarious, and accurate, account. They even ask upon two male audience members to help create the balcony in the famed balcony scene. They don't stop there, however. At the end they (incredibly quickly) perform a 30-second version.

The final piece, '1 ring to rule them all' wraps up the show with a Gandalf-led voyage through various situations. An audience member is asked to play 'Frodo', who is entrusted with a wreath-like ring and given cue cards to read.

At points, particularly at the start of the show, the dialogue should have been tighter and the performances toned down, but mostly the show hit the mark and was fun and entertaining.

The Twelve Plays of Christmas' is showing at the TAP Gallery in Darlinghurst until Sunday December 23. It features adult themes and some swearing.

For more information and photos, check out their Facebook page.
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*Maddy Butler was invited as a guest
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Why? For fun-filled entertainment
When: Wed - Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm
Phone: 02 9361 0440
Where: TAP Gallery
Cost: $24 (employed)/$19 (student/unemployed/work in arts)
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