[2014044] WOODCOURT: Spoils

[2014044] WOODCOURT: Spoils

Woodcourt Art Theatre @ The Coffee Pot

7:00pm, Sat 22 Feb 2014

Once more up the stairs to the top of The Coffee Pot to perch on the not-as-uncomfortable-as-you’d-imagine milk crate seating; this time the “set” at the northern end of the room has a sense of class to it. A bathtub, back and centre; the front is dominated by a wooden frame through which we view proceedings. It’s almost as if the frame… well, frames the bathtub as the centre of the action.

In and around the bathtub rotate four housemates; their dialogue is conversational ephemera. It’s almost as if we’re watching a modernised version of Seinfeld, with the bathroom taking the place of Jerry’s kitchen (and the bathtub the counter). The topics of their discussions are lightweight and instantly forgettable; in fact, the only one I can recall had something to do with action figures.

But there’s a strong thread through the entire show of an unattainable desire, represented by The Beach; an aquatic theme permeates many segments, and the bathtub is no mere window dressing. Characters reveal surprise nudity from the tub, or have breath-holding competitions, or sit three-abreast within its waters, legs dangling over the sides. The tub facilitates their social interactions… but nothing really ever happens.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself; indeed, I had a good many chuckles during the show, and was solidly entertained. I just felt like there should have been something more substantial come of these conversations… as a result, I walked out of Spoils wanting to like it more than I actually did. All the elements were there: plenty of off-the-wall non-sequiterial banter between strong kooky characters, with a visual aesthetic that felt refreshingly open and honest. But something just didn’t click for me; maybe I’m just too old to cling to some of the mini-rants, or maybe I was just in an odd mood… regardless, there was a tangible sense of disappointment as I left. I’m just not sure whether it was in myself or the play.

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