I hadn’t been to the Tap Gallery before so I took my mum along as my date and buffer of social awkwardness. The place is cool – some art to look at, drinks and canapes and an air of ‘relaxed hipster’ about it.
This piece sits really nicely in this gallery setting, the show is a comedy – a mixture of absurdist scenes and monologues exploring masculinity, mythos and ‘the big funk’: a movement that has stifled humanity, caused by our inability to acknowledge our fear, our mortality or our nakedness. All of this driven home with a monster monologue, delivered (with great conviction, I might add) by Jasper Garner-Gore.
The play is an ensemble piece, and this ensemble was strong. Jess Loudon, who plays Fifi, and Michael Drysdale, who plays her husband, Omar, share a great chemistry which results in a lot of laughs, and some of the best comedy lies in a cafe scene between Gregory, played by Bali Padda, and Jill, played by Alixandra Kupcik – they both really hit gold here.
The set was nice and simple, white walls and floor in a little open space, not separated from the gallery. Red tape marks broke up the floor space delineating where set pieces, and sometimes humans, were placed. One of the more memorable scenes involves a bathtub – it’s nothing too fancy, a fibreglass tub in a purpose-built wooden frame on wheels. But it’s what happens in the tub that defines this scene: Austin (Garner-Gore), bathes Jill (Kupcik) “like an innocent child” and she is cleansed, in both literal and figurative senses. It’s the centrepiece of the play and it was handled with great delicacy and warmth by director, Michael Dean. Thumbs up.
The Big Funk runs 11 March – 21 March; previews 11 and 12 March. Mon-Sat 8pm, Sun 6pm @ The Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst.