Product – Sydney Fringe Festival 2011

Buckle your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, because you are in for the pitch of a lifetime. Gucci’s on board. Versace’s on board. There’s a story – is there ever a story.

Presented by: Left of Centre and The New What NextVenue: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Theatre Centre 14 September 2011 ProductBuckle your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, because you are in for the pitch of a lifetime. Gucci’s on board. Versace’s on board. There’s a story – is there ever a story. Now all producer James needs to do is convince Olivia, one of the most celebrated actresses in the industry, that she wants to play this part and make this film. And considering the film is about Amy, a 9/11 widow who falls in love with an al-Qaeda operative (and who lives in an old abbatoir converted into a fabulous loft style apartment) James really does have his work cut out for him. Written by Mark Ravenhill, Product is darkly comedic, often uncomfortable, and consistently engaging.  Tom Christopherson is utterly engaging as James, the producer who throws his whole body (literally) into selling the story. While the stage is sparse it hardly matters – he leaps through the story, crawls toward his audience, and seems to fill the entire room with his irrepressible spirit. His physicality is mesmerizing, energy apparently limitless, and his ability to turn on a dime from narrator to character to industry player is enough to leave anyone short of breath.  Sophie Hayden plays an impassive, regal Olivia who manages to create a stoic presence on stage that holds its own ground in the face of James’ manic commitment to his pitch. Her back is to the audience but through clever use of a camcorder on a tripod and a TV screen we can watch her expressions, too, in such a befittingly cinematic way. Product is an event, a voyeuristic peek into the casually exploitive world of mass entertainment. You might leave it feeling a little bit dirty. But that’s the whole point.  Book online at www.seymourcentre.com or call 9351 7940For more info: visit www.thesydneyfringe.com.au Until 17 September 2011 

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *