Do you know those films which never fail to spark tempers, fuel arguments and turn a pleasant movie experience into a vehement debate? For comedy-duo Natalie Bochenski and Amy Currie, that film just happens to be the romantic Christmas classic ‘Love Actually’, and they’ve turned such holiday bants into one hilarious standup routine.
After years of arguing over the ethical validity of the rom-com blockbuster, Bochenski and Currie decided they couldn’t be the only ones locked in this heated conversation. As such, they took the British-humoured flick, added their finessed improvisational skills and fervent opinions, and created a debate that polarises the masses – in their two-women comedy show ‘Love/Hate Actually’.
The interactive theatre piece gives insight into just how dividing this Christmas movie can be. Currie believes it represents everything good about the human experience of love. Bochenski thinks it’s unrealistic and manipulative crap. For their audience, they’re left to decide who is right in an evening of hilarity. For Bochenski, piecing the routine together has been a riot and as a performer, she said it’s easy to get a buzz out of being in the show.
“When we first created the show concept, it was going to be a fairly straightforward, black and white argument,” Bochenski said.
“What was the surprise to us – and we think now surprises audiences – is the story that grew out of it. Whether you love or hate the movie (or even if you’ve never seen it), it’s really good fun.”
As friends for 10-years, both creatives knew something was off in the popular movie. A hot-topic every festive season, their contrasting opinions were bound to turn into a comedy show when their gags became increasingly extravagant as the years progressed. For Currie, there was a particular incident which set fuel to the inspirational fire.
“I actually showed up on her doorstep a couple of years ago wearing a turtleneck with my own set of hand-written cards and tried to convince Natalie it really is wonderful,” Currie said.
“It didn’t work, because Natalie is a soulless monster, but it helped spark the idea of this show. After all, we couldn’t be the only ones arguing about it.”
Currie and Bochenski have spent two-years on the move, touring ‘Love/Hate Actually’ all over Australia – from Adelaide to Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and even Newcastle. With hilarious results and glowing reviews, the smash-hit comedy show has been tried and tested to great success. For the team, it was only natural to see where things would escalate. And now, both creatives have decided it’s ready to go global, all the way to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The world-famous event features over 55,000 performances and an astonishing 3,548 different shows across 317 venues, making it the largest arts festival in the world! Bochenski and Currie will be joining the renowned line-up for their opening night performance at the Imagination Workshop hub at the Princess Hotel.
“Going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has always been a dream goal for Amy and me, and we decided this was the show to debut with – it’s sharp, funny, charming and has a good hook,” said Bochenski.
“Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest open-access arts festival, and it’s a huge endeavour to get over there. We wanted to be confident that we had the best possible show, and we really believe ‘Love/Hate Actually’ is it.”
Performing a total of 25 shows, they’ll hit the Scottish crowds between 1-26 August 2019. Currie and Bochenski are excited to join the throng of international creatives and represent Australian theatre.
With the original production originating in Brisbane and performed at the iconic Powerhouse theatre with Act/React, Currie and Bochenski are excited to fly the flag for local works and spearhead the production to the international stage. Their director, Jared Harford, said the show has so many parts to it, that it will guarantee laughs.
“We’re thrilled to present this 60 minutes of furious debate, which is part stand-up, part film lecture, part game show and all laughs,” said Harford.
As a group that are quickly becoming a company to watch, ‘Love/Hate Actually’ slots perfectly into the recently formed Act/React theatre target market. Specialising in pop culture-inspired performance, interactive and site-specific theatre and comedy, ‘Love/Hate Actually’ is the perfect addition to their long-list of specialised shows. Act/React regularly release new theatrical ventures which fit into their niche.
“We both have some projects in the works which we are itching to announce!” said Bochenski.
To keep up to date with the creative group, make sure you follow their social media and cheer on their journey in Edinburgh. After years of touring, rewrites, performances and laughs, Bochenski and Currie are set to soar in the Scottish seas – and we wish them the best of their loved-up voyage.
For more information on ‘Love/Hate Actually’ going international visit Act/React’s Website or book tickets at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Website. Alternatively, follow Act’React’s Facebook page for all upcoming events at Facebook – Act/React.