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a new australian double bill : quite a flurry at the fringe

French Santa is a new Sydney based production company run by Valentin Lang and James Sweeny.

French Santa is slipping down the Sydney Fringe chimney with a sack full of fun, presenting a double bill of two new 50 minute Australian plays, The Intervention by Valentin Lang (directed byLloyd Allison-Young) and Good, Die Young by James Sweeny (directed by Damien Strouthos).

THE INTERVENTION , penned by Valentin Lang, is a kitchen sink, dirty dishes, carpet curl, share house drama where. Mary and Joe and Steve share a house and Mary is concerned that Steve is on a spiral into alcoholism.. It’s not just his health she is concerned about, but the health of Joe who is his deputy in dipsomania, and the wellbeing of the house’s furniture and floor coverings.

She plans an intervention which unleashes a can of worms that wriggles with house share hypocrisy and room-mate resentments and recriminations.

Nice work by four players – Jess Belle-Keogh as Mary brings a quality reminiscent of a young Judi Dench. Luke McMahon is the lovelorn lost weekender, Steve, and the play’s author, Valentin Lang, is the procrastinating puppy, Joe. Rounding out the quartet is Elle Harris as Anthea, Steve’s celebrity squeeze who is happy just to have him as an occasional fuck buddy.

The more intriguing work is GOOD, DIE YOUNG, a speculative piece about the inherent amorality in achieving amorality. See what I did just there. It’s just what the playwright James Sweeny is doing, conjuring the word and pitting his characters in the pros and cons of the ethics and economics of medical breakthroughs, and putting in that cheeky little comma in the title. Hope you weren’t too comatose to spot it.

There’ll be no nodding off in this bracing speculative narrative – sexy, surprising, controversial and sparklingly funny – fuelling high octane performances from an awesome foursome.

Playwright James Sweeny, plays Alex, the bio-tech maven, Alex, who has undergone a surgery that renders himself amortal, that is, immunised against disease and ageing. The cost is astronomical, far beyond the means of mere mortals, but not to a guy who can afford a return trip to Mars.

His beloved, Jane, an actress, is given full throated and physical throttle by Jessica Clarke in a performance hungry as the sea, salty, sultry, satisfying.

In a perfect match tag team, Amanda Stephens-Lee plays the older Jane, exalting in the characterisations firm foundation.

In a character that, in essence, is a coda, Emily Pincock gives the teenage progeny, Poppy, a refreshingly delightful lightness of being.

September 25-29th, 7pm, Erskineville Town Hall, The Living Room.


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