The trials and tribulations of a gay couple opening a Bed and Breakfast establishment in country Victoria come to life on stage at Melbourne’s Chapel off Chapel.
And thanks to the performance of the play’s two stars, Ben Noble and Alex Thew, their experiences are often very funny, thought-provoking and moving.
The aptly named Bed & Breakfast tells of the adventures of Brett (Noble) and Drew (Thew) who decide to leave their apartment in Melbourne and convert an old house to a B&B in a small country town.
The house was bequeathed to Brett by a beloved aunt who was killed in a car accident. They initially plan to sell the house but after staying for a week to prepare for the sale decide to make it their home and open a B&B.
Needless to say there are plenty of challenges facing the couple including the stress of renovating an old home, adjusting to country life and the homophobic behaviour of some locals. There’s also the shock of discovering a hidden family secret.
Countering the negative experiences are the supportive locals and some rather bizarre guests resulting in the many laughs Bed & Breakfast provides.
Noble and Thew expertly and believably bring the couple’s experiences to life through the 10 roles each plays in addition to their main characters.
Watching them in action is a highlight of the play. Using only their voices and mannerisms the two play such characters as a grunting teenager, a lesbian Irish farmer and partner, who runs the local coffee shop and is expecting the couple’s baby, a most `enthusiastic’ honeymoon couple, a builder with a big secret and city and country real estate agents.
Both would have to be exhausted after the two-hour performance given the concentration levels required to morph into different characters, often in the one move, without missing a beat.
It comes as no surprise to discover the play’s writer, Canadian Mark Crawford, drew on personal experiences of living in both urban and rural communities when writing Bed & Breakfast.
Adapted for Victorian audiences and premiered in Australia by independent theatre company Fairly Lucid Productions, the play provides a thoughtful insight into the joys and challenges of making major changes to your life and living in the country with all its delights and idiosyncrasies.
Bed & Breakfast is playing at Chapel off Chapel until September 18. For more information and tickets visit the Fairly Lucid Productions website.
*Photo credit: Cameron Grant, Parenthesy
Jenny Burns attended Bed & Breakfast as a guest of the production company.
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