Casting Couch Productions presents

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
by Paul Osuch

"A collection of five short plays..."

Directed by Greg Eccleston

@ TAP Gallery. Level 1, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst

April 3rd to 20th, 2002. Wednesday to Saturday @ 8:00 p.m.

REVIEW

DRUM Media, 16 April 2002.

The Tap Gallery in Palmer St doesn't immediately spring to mind as a great theatre venue. Kooky art, yes, serious acting, no. But think again. Because tucked away behind the lurid nudes and the very slow bar service is a tiny little space that's playing host to a number of talented thespians.
In No Particular Order is the second production from director Greg Eccleston in the Gallery. It's a series of five short plays written by NIDA graduate Paul Osuch, which is a winning format in a small room with uncomfortable seats. Fast paced and well written, his work is brought to life by six (sic) young actors who look like they're just about to hit the big time (or a guest appearance on The Secret Life of Us at the very least).
The first segment begins, as Julie Andrews said "at the very beginning". With St Peter, Adam and Eve, to be precise. It's a gimmicky idea (a couple of Osuch's ideas are) involving the idea that a prank by St Peter, who's utterly bored with his role as gatekeeper since no-one's died yet, has accidentally killed the First Man and the First Woman. Before they've had a chance to beget Cain and Abel. What's more, Eve's not too keen on her chosen mate. She thinks that St Peter, fake beard and all, is a lustier object. Some cute jokes and even cuter nudity keep this piece enjoyable, but it's a slimmish idea and serves merely as an entrée into some meatier (and better written) work.
Scene Four is a disturbing take on Groundhog Day, with Amanda Thomas and Robert Maconachie playing two characters stuck in a time loop as though they're onstage. Maconachie is particularly funny, reprising his role endlessly while Cate (Thomas) squawks helplessly at the weirdness of it all. The final scene is slightly disappointing and a bit confusing. Eve and St Peter are revived and on earth, St Peter mown down by a car, while the couple who knocked him down are in a waiting room. There's a new Peta at the gate, a young girl who couldn't die until she found a birth certificate. Her story is inventive and amusing and Osuch tries hard to link the stories of the characters but somehow it all falls a bit flat. The stage space, being short and long widthways doesn't help. When action is happening on the other half of the stage, it's hard to actually see what is happening.

Elizabeth Bentley.

Performance seen -- Wednesday 10 April.

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