THIS is the most original act perpetrated on the Australian stage in years.
Armed with an engaging presence, a flexible voice, well-honed physical theatre skills and the premise that inanimate objects can influence our lives just as much as inanimate ones, Queensland actor Lucas Stibbard bestrides the stage to tell us what he and fellow-creator, Matthew Ryan, claim is “not a love story”, but “a story about love”.
You’ll have to see it to understand just what that means, but suffice it to say that Stibbard plays boy, girl, wall, floor, ceiling, killer magpie, mediocre office manager, up-himself agent, Goth librarian and the entire evolutionary range from ape to homo sapiens.
If there is a hero, it’s young Thom, besotted with astronomy, but like too many Australians, forced by his mum into studying IT because it’s “the future”.
On the other side of the wall of his humble Brisbane flat is Alethea, a beautiful writer caught in the trap of writer’s block from which not even her trusty computer, Dave, nor her well-dressed bicycle, Penelope, can save her.
They’re just made for each other, as any self-respecting wall can (and does) tell you.
Working in perfect harmony with Nerida Waters, visible on the side producing wonderful sounds and occasionally chipping in, Stibbard plays the audience like the seasoned comic he is.
Sometimes his jokes are too subtle for mere Canberrans – he tells us so. At other times, we get it and he applauds us. Occasionally, he invites opinion as to what course he should take in life.
I’ll give you this spoiler – it’s a lovely, happy ending that will send you home feeling optimistic about the future of bright young Australians.