by Becky Mode
Brevity Theatre Company in association with
Sydney Independent Theatre Company
Old Fitzroy Theatre
credit: Brevity Theatre Company
Reviewed by Benjamin Oxley
Fully Committed - a play on the theatrical term for deeply in character, and a PC phrase for a full house at a restaurant - is much more than a one-man show. It allows the physical and vocal talents of Nick Curnow to stretch the gamut of Transatlantic vignettes. It tells the story of Sam, who takes the reservations for an over-priced Manhattan dining establishment. His dilemma is universal - how to escape from his post at Christmas to be with his newly-widowed dad.
With a dank office as his habitat, Sam is beset by cranky callers, high brow and hysterical, all bent on landing the plum spot at dinner. Lunch has its own concerns, as he attempts to balance the service demands of chef, maitre-d. and all those callers. It gets so frenetic that Sam is called on to double as toilet cleaner, after all others have grossed out at the diner's debacle.
It is enough that the role encompasses nigh on 40 characters, director Alexander Butt finds room for Curnow to work between the phone, the tannoy and the chef's personal line. Oh, and Sam's mobile phone that represents his life away from drudgery. Perhaps a telco could support this venture?
Nick Curnow is highly sought after for his talent and knowledge as a voice actor, is experienced in voice over narration and ADR, can differentiate between New York and New England, Liverpool and Lancashire, give you a Texan or a Russian, a Kiwi or Latino, or anyone else you might need. My favourite voice was Mrs Sebag, a distraught New York Jewess desperate for a table.
Praise too for the work from the control desk: split-second timing to match Curnow, placing the myriad sound effects on beats of musical bars. Benjamin Brockman's strobe-effected lighting created a suggestion of power overload at the climaxes, channelling the storytelling into a spiraling vortex.
After the call to Sam's father to ... you need to be there and see it for yourself. And if you are like me, you'll be pleased it's a theatre pub, so you can catch your breath and have a much needed drink.