03/07/2013 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment


We caught the first preview of this autobiographical verbatim work from Danielle Maas and the team at Cupboard Love (pro-tip: always favour the preview over the bustle of opening night if you fancy sheer wattage in your theatrics – especially with new work), a first tentative venture back to the Old Fitzroy Hotel since the baton was passed to SITCO for running the space.  Happy to report there’s a piping hot show in the offing this month.  Danielle Maas is a force to be reckoned with onstage and off – having researched and dramaturged and ultimately performing this tale of love, lust and lunacy with Joe Kernahan in multiple supporting roles.  At once frenzied, funny, familiar and frightening – it has a visceral boldness that comforts the soul, in the way you might seek refuge from the freezing night by wrapping yourself in the still-warm bodily organs of a recently slain wildebeest on the plains of outer Mongolia.

As a series of vignettes gleaned from interviews with twenty men from the author’s life, the play creates an hilarious mosaic of the absurdity of romance in the digital era – sometimes edging cariacture, but more often treading the path of honest reflection and investigation. In terms of catharsis, Ms Maas has the courage to turn some of the pathos in her love-life into comedy gold – always on that flickering knife’s edge of tragedy. No mean feat, and another terrific example of the trend in local theatre toward staging the deeply personal in terms of the epic, to reflect and capture a uniquely modern Australian experience. You should go and see it.

Say Hello First, presented by Cupboard Love & SITCO, playing at the Old Fitzroy Hotel until 27th July. Written by Danielle Maas, directed by Jason Langley, featuring Danielle Maas and Joe Kernahan.


I went on a date last night for the first time in ages.  I don’t normally go on dates, because I find the entire premise of dating to be well… dated. It’s a hangover from Jane Austen era notions of propriety that have worn thinner than Mr Knightley’s receding hairline when he finally gets around to asking a certain eponymous young woman to be his blushing bride. But I digress.

Dating: Contrived. Awkward. Almost impossible to get to know someone by means of short bursts of sustained façade and ask questions and hope they like you but won’t see the foibles underneath until it’s too late and they’ve already committed too much to pull out with any semblance of dignity. So it was entirely appropriate that this particular date was contrived into the play and I was asked by *her friend* (apparently the rules for this modern convention were devised at Degrassi Junior High) if I would join the stage for a short tête-à-tête with the lead actor in front of the audience and everything.

How could I refuse? I mean, you know. Like, meeting people is hard (apparently). In my extensive hardly ever dating experience I’ve actually found meeting people is easy. It’s getting them to meet you back that’s the tricky part. But I digress. Perhaps that’s a topic for another day…

The date went well enough I suppose. I was handed an envelope with some talking points and we took turns broaching small-talk topics such as group-sex, the dynamics of meta-theatre, and speculated on the size of my johnson.  She asked for my most embarrassing moment, straight off the bat (I’m not that kind of guy, I’ll put out that kind of information eventually, but what’s the rush? At least you could buy me dinner first). Then it kind of fizzled out after I brought up politics and beastiality in the same sentence. Rookie mistake. Damn You Cory Bernadi!

And By The Way: I wasn’t *staring* at you Dani.  Technically it was *gazing*.  Besides you’re in a fucking play at the time what else was I supposed to do? Hey this venting of one’s issues in public really works. More please.

So anyway maybe I will go back and try to finagle a second date.  Or just to bask in the glow of a woman cutting off pieces of herself and throwing them into the fire.  Mmmm- Shitfighty-Catharsisy-Warm.


NOTE: I will revisit this post and make further comments on interactive and meta-theatre with respect to this play on a later date. See what I did there?
Meanwhile. Here’s some fabulous music and dancing.

Entry filed under: Inside Theatre REVIEWS, New Work, Sydney THEATRE. Tags: , , , , , , .


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