The Big Bite-Size Soirée (Menu 3)
White Room Theatre @ Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage
6:00pm, Wed 14 Mar 2012
This was the day the weather turned nasty, and the thunder was rumbling as the drizzle got progressively heavier while I scooted the short distance to the Bakehouse. Just after I entered the foyer, the thunderstorms hit; it was nigh-on impossible to hold a conversation at the bar (behind which staff were scurrying to try and find containers to catch newly-found leaks), such was the noise from the rain hitting the roof. Thankfully, though, the storm had eased up a little by the time Menu 3 started.
Presented by the same cast in an identical manner to the previous Soirée, Nice People kicked off proceedings with an interesting premise: She is performing a robbery and, in doing so, meets Him. That results in a really nice dynamic between the characters; there’s a great reveal, but a bit of a limp ending. Thin Air presents a sees an interesting bit of philosophical discussion between trapeze artists in the middle of their act; the dialogue is compelling, but the presentation suffers from the difficulty in creating a reasonable abstraction of the trapeze act onstage.
All manner of stereotypes are assembled in Thespian, with a Brooklyn boy heading off for an audition. Whilst it feels a little contrived, there’s some genuinely funny attempts to bend the thick accent into various well-known – but ill-suited – roles. The Bar, sadly, was instantly forgettable – less than thirty minutes later, I couldn’t remember a single thing about it. Finally, Perfect Stillness has the audience watching the painful process of writing a eulogy – luckily, the eulogisee is able to provide assistance with her somewhat biassed input.
Overall, this Menu was perhaps a bit more balanced than my first Soirée; but, whilst there were no short plays in this Soirée that offended in the way that The Key to the Mystic Halls of Time did, there were no real standouts, either… and one very forgettable Bite. But the cast are uniformly strong, and there’s still some clever writing in evidence; bring on the last Menu, I reckon.