A Fringe premiere, Cafe Play! is a whirlwind performance where you're the star of the show. Presented by Catherine Holder and Pearce Hessling of Melbourne's Little Dirt Path, the two immerse you into a story of memories and prospective excitement.
It was hard enough that I had to run to The Jade from my bus, little did I know that I'd be thrust into a show I barely knew was happening. After sitting down, it's straight into business.
A multi-media, interactive and theatre style show, Cafe Play! doesn't give you the chance to double take your circumstances. With urgency, yet also with warmth, it's simply a coffee date in the practical sense. Questions, suggestions, discussion and compromise are made as you work together to plan something you're just happening to learn about.
Twists and turns abound as you attempt to remember the flurry of information you were told only minutes ago, like a job interview you didn't know you were applying for. Yet all of this occurs in a public setting, like nothing is awry.
With personal touches, the show finds the balance between your ability to influence the story, and the memories and anecdotes that lead you on a set path. While sometimes it felt like I was heckling a theatre performance, more often I felt engaged and listened to. The acting is compelling, right until the last moment when you ask: 'What on earth just happened' (Clocking in at exactly 25 minutes, I had to sit and breathe for a bit afterwards).
The show speaks to the creators ability to both write an emotive script and to adapt and improvise. While the comedy is light-hearted, the situations presented to you are more than realistic. Though there were still a couple kinks, it's the type of show that can only getting better with time.
If you love being part of the show, meeting new people, or reflecting on how you interact with new faces, I implore you to head along. Stop people watching and become part of the action!
Where: The Jade
When: 1st - 3rd, 7th - 10th of March
Tickets: From $16.00 (Includes free coffee!), found here.
Star rating: 4 out of 5 stars.