Life Without Me
by Daniel Keene
At The Seymour Centre
9th- 16th February 2016
The service is erratic, the manager dubious, there aren't even any fish in the tank.
But if you’re uncertain of who you are and have no clue where you’re headed, this lousy hotel could be the perfect sanctuary.
In Life Without Me, much-awarded playwright Daniel Keene has crafted an Australian existential fable that feels awkwardly familiar.
Trapped in a hotel that would rival Fawlty Towers, guests are thrown into chaos as a storm of sheer incompetence is unleashed. If they can endure the utter ineptitude, these blow-ins, drifters and muddled souls may check out with a little less personal baggage than they checked in with.
A gently funny farce that asks us to let go of our last known address and our destination in order to get lost in the lobby on the way to elsewhere.
'Nevertheless, the juxtaposing of the bizarre and the realistic, the comical and the tragic and the excellent playing of the roles has given audiences a rare treat. (In the main these have been lucky teenagers who now go back to their classrooms with a clear vision of what they’re about to read.)'
Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise
'Keene himself said he was interested in characters ‘who live moment by moment, allowing the soul to surface.’ This production is by ‘Illuminate Educate’, who have executed a play that not only does this but is entertaining, with sharp performances by all.'
Nicole Patterson, What's On Sydney
'This is a courageous production of a play that “puzzles over our precise place in this incoherent world” (Hunt). The constant entrances and exits and the many scene changes are directed carefully and handled well. The characters are clear and relate convincingly.'
Carol Wimmer, Stage Whispers
'The dull realism of the lobby contrasts with the improbable storm outside, which is responsible for not only administering a shock to Nigel as he changes a light bulb but also for sweeping guests through a revolving door. They arrive breathless, off-balance and it seems seeking refuge in stultifying hiatus from a world beyond their control.'
Catherine Skipper, South Sydney Herald
'Standout is Annie Byron, who gives Mrs Spence a wonderful comedic energy. Drew Fairley, Laurence Coy, Julie Hudspeth, Brendan Donoghue, Martin Broome and Anne Wilson all add texture to the characters and work tirelessly to create the necessary relationships and character levels while maintaining buoyancy, something the script fights against.'
Lynden Jones, Theatre Now
Set and Costume Design