In an era of surplus new-age and undefined theatre, Loving Kurt Vonnegut welcomes a securely classic-style story.
Director Paul Gitten’s Loving Kurt Vonnegut showcases an energetic triangle between writer couple Colin and Alice (David Aston and Anthea Hill), and their unwitting play-thing, Casey (Damien Avery). Laden with literary references, the play predominately sources novelist Kurt Vonnegut. A commonly critiqued author, Loving Kurt Vonnegut repeatedly alludes to this attitude – sourcing not only the writer himself, but the art of writing in general. This context gives the play a feel of sophistication. Laden with polished language and allusions, writer Gary Stalker has created a dialogue that enriches the silent observer.
Aside from its cultured script, Loving Kurt Vonnegut also satisfies with its set design. While shows with stark or metaphorical sets offer their own fulfilment through fresh experiences, there is something welcoming about sitting in front of a recognisable setting. Loving Kurt Vonnegut achieves this conventional look without staleness. The audience is presented with a living/bed room of sorts, with three white doors providing pleasing exits for the actors. But, in a possible first for The Basement Theatre, the stage is set in the round – bringing the audience right inside the room and therefore drama. This allows for engagement at another level – we don’t just view the performance, we experience it. A gun that points out the window is centred right between two groups of patrons; whiskey that is repeatedly sloshed around falls dangerously close to front row viewers.
Winning elements of a dynamic cast, refined script and innovative yet classic staging work together to form a delightful and intelligent drama. A story that one can’t view half-heartedly, Loving Kurt Vonnegut demands its audience’s full attention in exchange for comprehension. However this mandate is not unreasonable, with the end result proving more than satisfactory. One for the more learned crowd, Loving Kurt Vonnegut is worth this request.
Closing this Saturday, tickets can and should be bought ASAP from here.