‘One Bottle Later’ was intoxicating.
In the age of COVID, the way in which we connect has fundamentally changed. Before, we had coffee dates with friends, a wine with colleagues and late-night raves in the Valley. Now, we have Zoom, Zoom and more Zoom. With this, Brisbane-based theatrical collective, The Good Room, are asking if can we radically connect with a stranger in the age of COVID? ‘One Bottle Later’ answers this question and then some.
The premise of the show is as simple as it is complex. Two strangers and a bottle of wine. The rest, as they say, is theatre. The Good Room has a history in Brisbane of making extraordinary theatre out of the mundane. Through their works ‘I’ve Just Came to Say Goodbye’, ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’, ‘I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You’ and ‘That’s What She Said’, they have built a reputation of extravagant, flamboyant theatre made through the relationship between the audience and the performer. But how can we do that when everyone needs to stay at least 1.5 metres apart? The answer is actually surprisingly simple: the little moments that The Good Room would usually create months in advance via anonymous submissions are instead created over a bottle of wine. What makes ‘One Bottle Later’ truly remarkable is that it didn’t sacrifice a single moment of the Company’s iconic theatricality in the process.
With all The Good Room signature touches, from the use of instantly recognizable pop music, Leah Shelton’s unique movement made audiences question the physics of the human body and Jason Glenwright’s all-encompassing lighting design helped create atmosphere, as well as confetti. Lots and lots of confetti. ‘One Bottle Later’ is uniquely The Good Room but also uniquely different in that it is built from the ground up to be 100% COVID safe. It’s the priest confessional meets a drunken nightclub rave.
Director, Performer and Co-Creator, Dan Evans’, puts his signature style to good use in creating an inherently theatrical space while still maintaining a safe and inviting environment where audiences feel comfortable divulging their deepest and darkest secrets to strangers. And if that isn’t enough Co-Creator and The Good Room Co-Founder, Amy Ingram, provides her vocal talent to encourage naughty secrets through her tone, which is Agony Aunt meets Siri, Sex Line.
If there was one negative, and this goes against most theatrical reviews, the show could have been longer. The 70-minute-show would benefit from a longer run time. The relationship with a stranger like a good bottle of wine can do with a bit of maturing and sometimes one bottle isn’t enough.
‘One Bottle Later’ is theatre in a way you have never seen it before because patrons are both a star and an audience member. Despite being sold out to quote Arnold Schwarzenegger “It’ll Be Back”… at least we hope.
‘One Bottle Later’ performs until Sunday, 20 September 2020, at the Brisbane Powerhouse. Sadly this production has sold out, but more information can be found on Brisbane Festival’s Website or by following The Good Room on Facebook.
Photos sourced via Facebook.