With last year’s chain of events leading to my life becoming one big ferris wheel of death, divorce and interstate moves, I have opted out of performing at any festivals early this year in favour of recovering! However, I am instead having the pleasure of seeing shows a-plenty on the other side of the stage…and loving it…at this year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival, on now at Brisbane Powerhouse. I’ll be blogging my highlights here. It’s fun to be an audient again!
Pop quiz, hot shot.
You have an insanely ambitious idea to adapt the blockbuster 90’s flick “Speed” into a live show that is loyal to the storyline, takes part on an actual bus, but has little budget of which to speak.
What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?
Well if you’re Act/React Theatre, you know what? YOU JUST FREAKING MAKE IT HAPPEN.
I am in awe of these guys; there’s little I love more than a crazy idea backed by people nutty and committed enough to pull it off. And my, my, my, have they ever! It’s joyously silly, interactive fun staged on a bus (yes! They did that!) at the entrance of The Powerhouse. I had the great fortune of being able to see the sneak preview of their show on Monday night prior to their official opening at Brisbane Comedy Festival, and even with only a few test audience members in the bus seats, it was an absolute blast. Pun totally intended.
The casting is spot on; their Keanu killed me with his earnest neck-jerking, their Dennis Hopper was the perfect smiling madman but the real star of the show is the teamwork required to pull the whole thing off. An impressive sized cast and crew provide props, locations, sound effects, special effects, all timed to precision but with the requisite sense of silliness and fun…I don’t want to spoil things by revealing details, but suffice to say that with the storyline being faithful to the film itself, the delight comes not in what is going to happen next, but how the heck they’re going to pull it off.
This really is more than a play; it’s an experience. One that will be enjoyable on another level to those who have seen “Speed” recently, but still fantastic even if you haven’t; my tweenage daughter had no idea about the film (way to make a mother feel old) and still absolutely loved the whole thing and wants to go again. Speed 2, anybody?
Note: I HUGELY recommend you book asap to this, as with only 40 odd seats available on the bus each night, I know they’ve already sold out plenty of nights and had to extend the season by a week. So hop on it! (No literally. Hop on it. It’s a bus.)