Theatre / “12 Angry Men,” by Reginald Rose, directed by Jarrad West. At the Queanbeyan Bicentennial Hall until November 24. Reviewed by JOHN LOMBARD.
AN event like “Best Festival Ever” reminds us of how anachronistic our theatres and so much theatrical performance have become.
This interactive journey takes the audience into a systems model where they get to create a festival. Through games involving chance and problematic situations, the audience strives to achieve an outcome that is not disastrous.
As the opening-night audience discovered, the outcome is not set in the script and happy endings are not guaranteed.
The analogy is with our climate and our choices regarding how we engage with changes. Boho and Applespiel’s presentational theatre is high-quality engagement.
The Street 2 provides the perfect setting. The audience, seated at a large table, becomes like a focus group. Actors and audience interact and the line between the performer and the audience is blurred. The actors are more presenters in a game than traditional performers. There are no characters, only roles to play and each plays the role with certainty and conviction meshed with humour. But it is all serious and the audience is enrolled to play the game as if for real.
To bring the whole event into the contemporary world, free drinks are provided after the presentation game and a guest scientist is invited to take questions and discuss the relevance of the simulated model for real-earth imperatives. A most valuable and entertaining night’s theatre!