Yet to my surprise, not only was the play as good as it had promised, it was in fact even better than its hype. Here then are ten reasons to go and catch this play before it ends 17 September:
1. Duncan Sarkies! Duncan Sarkies! Duncan Sarkies!
The script by Duncan Sarkies deserves all the awards and accolades that has been given to it. It cleverly dissects love with all its puke-ish mess and emotions that it entails at the end of the '90s. At turns poignantly wise, at turns outrageously funny, the script exposes all the cliches and stereotypes that has dictated what it is to be and how to behave in a relationship (or to be single for that matter), by confidently revealing all the rules of its games and all its conniving schemes. It seduces with its stylish prose, its hip knowing-ness and with the way it deftly juxtaposes and formidably intertwines the narrative with self referential comments, thereby avoiding the usual banal and trite observations of love to reveal the machinations and stratagems with which love operates in the '90s.
2. Let's forget about 'LIFE CHOICES' then.....
After the abysmal direction in 'LIFE CHOICES', Jeffrey Tan redeems himself by his shrewd direction which makes full use of the ingenious set -- seven toilet-bowls, from which the actors banter and interact with one another, and which also implicitly suggests the title of the play. And having the cynic sit above all the rest of the cast in an umpire's chair is highly ironic -- for all his supposed level headedness, he is just as confused as the rest about the messy state of love and relationships in this postmodern era. The flawless direction can also be seen in a scene entitled 'Depression' where the actors started to move around the theatre, each describing the emotional state which they are in. The effect was both immediate (as the proximity of the actors allowed a sense of intimacy) and alienating (as the multiplicity of voices became a blur of emotions, each one competing with the others to be heard) thereby effectively conveying the fact that such emotional turmoil is both unique and yet ultimately common to every one.
3. Never underestimate the use of words on paper.....
Typed words on paper this simple prop was cleverly used to maximum effect in detailing the different stages in relationships ('Sex', 'Breakup', 'The End'), in declaring winners in the numerous games of love, and in describing the way the various relationships have been built ('Sex, argument, argument, more sex etc'). This was also inventively used in the most literal sense a piece of paper with the word 'coffee' or 'hanky' to symbolise just that, a cup of coffee or a hanky such that a highly comical and cartoon-like effect was created.
4. It is really very, very funny.
This is a script that has one liners worth any episode of 'Friends', with witty 'come-ons' and 'put-downs', bitchy retorts and hilarious sequences. There was a comic charm which pervaded the whole performance, a playfulness in the script that prevented any scene from becoming too tedious.
5. And yet strangely profound.....
Yet for all the laughter invoked, the play had a lot of wise and insightful things to say about relationships about the way we manipulate the people we love, the way we exploit the ones we love for our selfish purposes, and the way love for all its lofty ideals is physically related to the body in its many functions and secretions.
6. And did I mention the naughty bits?
Sex was the order of the day how to get it, how to do it and do it well, and how to get by without it. From the unison cries of 'ooh, ah, yes! yes! yes!', this was a sexy and sex-filled play. Kudos to Emma Yong as the sexually voracious Louise who manages to constantly reach multiple orgasms and Janice Koh as the prim Marissa who gets it on in the cubicle of a male toilet -- both raised the temperature of the play many notches higher with their sensual eroticism.
7. Is it even possible to get a better cast?
The cast was impeccable all eight of them were more than competent in conveying the energy and spirit of the play. Every one of the actors were well cast, from Sebastian Tan as the closet homosexual to Enlai Chua as the reserved and proper boy next door all of them gave touching and highly engaging performances that milked every ounce of drama and comedy from the script.
8. If I had that amount of energy, I could go on all night..... The chemistry between the actors was palpable, not counting the boundless energy on stage. The cast were so vivaciously animated, it seemed that they could go on and on and on....
9. Short and Sharp just the way I like it!
Yet the play, just lasting slightly more than an hour, was a snappy and well-paced piece that understood that what it could say or do could be done in this short period of time after all, the gimmicks involved would have become dull and insipid if the play had dragged on longer.
10. Well.....what more do you want?
So how many more reasons do you really want or need? This is a wildly entertaining play that will restore your faith in theatre. So go on and be seduced by this production and trust me, this experience is definitely worth it.
Click here to go to "The Flying Inkpot" "Lovepuke" website
The below reviews refer to the June 2000 production of "Lovepuke" by Gorgeous Productions in Melbourne and are reproduced without permission.
WHAT THE PRESS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT LOVEPUKE:. "... outrageously funny ... in the vein of 'Friends' & 'Ally McBeal' ...
This is a wildly entertaining play that will restore your faith in theatre."
- The Flying Inkpot
"... an excellent night's entertainment. Laughs galore ...
Fast paced, fun and worth seeing. Good on you Gorgeous Productions ...
- Melbourne CitySearch
"... hilarious and refreshing ... highly entertaining ...
Gorgeous Productions should be congratulated."
- Inpress Magazine
"... a guide to love, sex, dating and relationships ...
a combination of comedy sketches, scripted theatresports and musical revue ...
a humorous look at love and all its bruises ... energetic (and) entertaining ..."
- The Age
"... absolutely the most funny, witty and poignant play that I have seen in a long time ..."Click here to go to Gorgeous Productions "Lovepuke" website
- Manitoban Magazine
Click here! to go to 'Lovepuke' Cast Page!
Click here! to go to 'Lovepuke' Photos Page!
Click here! to go to Casting Couch Productions Front page!
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