Was it good for you?
Paradise in the Vault (August 9-12 – 7:25pm)
‘Was it good for you’ is a play about a one night stand. I went into the room feeling like I’d seen many versions of this show before. There are so many sex-comedies at the fringe each year – but this cast and crew have elevated themselves above the rest. Jokes land, the writing is slick, there is affection and warmth, and a whole lot of heart.
Throughout the show, our central characters, Isaac (Chris Pope) and what was her name? (Isobel Lewis) deal slickly and comically with expectations around performance, pressure and appearance that come with a one-night stand. There are so many problems with female characters not being named in shows, but on this occasion it is absolutely justified – you really will have to trust me on this. The lack of a name being used is a well thought out part of the plot – not an omission.
Endings are the hardest part of a play to get right. So often great shows have the urge to tie everything up tidily, or we’re cut off in what feels to be the midst of the action. Bareback Productions wrapped up their hour long romp with a succinct reveal, to audible appreciative murmurs from the full-house audience.
The two central performances are strong – both understated. The lead actors play seven the most gross-out material just on the right side of cringe, with excellent comic timing and compelling honesty. They are supported by an array of surreal comedy characters, popping into the characters heads and onto the stage with sage wisdom and witty lines at just the wrong moment. All these appearances are strongly acted and well incorporated within the central plot. Mary Poppins (Suzy Oxenham) is a particular delight.
Staging is excellent, with shadows used to brilliant effect. Across the board there isn’t a weak link. For me, the change in tone was quite sudden – the inclusion of this material is one of the aspects that makes this play so strong, but more of a trail leading up would have perhaps helped with the jolt.
However, that didn’t dampen the enjoyment of what was a great hour – highly recommended.
Further information and tickets here.