Review by Tatum Stafford
As we were ushered in to the spacious Pleasance Beyond theatre, we were treated to views of a gorgeously designed set, complete with a piano, miniature curtains, bar and lounge. Little did we know that in just under an hour’s time, 6-8 audience members would be up there, performing as actors in Act III of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.
Presented by Say It Again, Sorry?, this production is a wild ride from start to finish, and I absolutely loved it. It started as a traditional play, until the ‘actor’ playing Ernest fails to arrive on cue. It was at that point that the show’s ‘director’, who was scattered amongst the audience, had to choose someone from the crowd to take on the role for the rest of the performance. The man chosen during our performance had a beaming smile and a great sense of humour, so it was a real joy to watch him confusingly react to things going on around him, and answer hilarious prompt questions.
When the acts continued, it became time for more audience members to get involved, in a manner of ways – two women were pulled up to ‘audition’ for a role, and another person was chosen after the audience were asked ‘who can play the piano? What song?’. A stunning rendition of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen shortly followed.
The cast of this show are top-tier, and never broke character no matter how ridiculous some of the participating audience members’ performances became. Big props to all of them for keeping what could otherwise become quite a chaotic show nice and tight. I particularly enjoyed the way they worked as an ensemble, and kept the pace lightning-fast to ensure we all felt like we were part of the action on the way.
The way the show involved another Fringe performer was also really lovely and supportive – without spoiling too much, at every show of theirs this Fringe season, they invite another performer to play a small role at the end of the show, and after the show finishes, they spruik it to their audience.
This is a super fun, at-times ridiculous show that must be seen to be believed – don’t miss out on tickets, you’re guaranteed to have a fun time, even if you don’t get up on stage and join!