Our national, local treasure, the National Theatre School, continues to produce/offer fine actors, writers, directors and teachers. The Upshot, a triple-solo show, is a case in point. This is the group’s ‘upshot’; the outcome of their three years at NTS. Despite being recent graduates, Flora Quintus, Sébastien Heins and Nico Racicot have the chops to deliver. Okay, in all honesty, I wasn’t convinced when I booked my ticket, but with Jody Essery and Adam Lazarus in command, I should have known better. Flora’s Herman is a ‘transmutational’ love story about a woman falling in love with a chair. We see the arc of the relationship from early lust (quite imaginative!) through the getting-to-know-you phase (his baby photo is in the Ikea catalogue), to frustration: “Sometimes I feel like I’m living with a desk or a lamp.” Odd? Yes, but it held me and I kinda liked it.
Next up was Sébastien’s Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera. I could watch this guy move all night. He reads strong, sensitive and passionate while spouting hip-hop vulgarities and obscenities; all in the name of the game of course and not gratuitous. I mostly liked the story of two hip hop performing brothers, Cash Money & Money Pussy and their subsequent falling out. Beautifully crafted lyrics though the singing was just okay. But ooooh the ‘dance’…
I like that at the end, they asked anyone in the audience if they had a show to promote.