Pool (No Water) at the Actors' Hub

 

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Christian Tomaszewski, Nicholas Allen, Andrew Dunstan, Adam Droppert, in Pool (No Water)
Photo Credit: Actors' Hub


I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into The Actors’ Hub for the first time, but I was immediately welcomed in and invited to take a seat and have a drink. A duo performed live acoustic songs in the foyer while we waited for the show – delayed slightly due to some technical difficulties – to begin.

The show was Mark Ravenhill’s play Pool (No Water) – presented by The Actors’ Hub as part of their 4x4x4 program for Fringe World. 4x4x4 features four actors (Nicholas Allen, Adam Droppert, Andrew Dunstan, and Christian Tomaszewski) performing four plays directed by Amanda Crewes over four weeks. In Pool (No Water), they play a nameless group of pretentious, profane, drug-addled artists.

The group tells us, the audience, a story in first-person plural. They are deeply resentful of their “friend” of 10 years, a fellow artist – referred throughout the play as “She” – who has made it big while they continue to struggle. “She” now lives comfortably and has invited the group over to her house for a dip in her pool. When a sickening accident puts her in a coma, the group instinctively seeks to turn her suffering into art.

The simple set – a white square with seats along each side – allowed for an immersive experience and interaction between the actors and audience members. Allen, Droppert, Dunstan, and Tomaszewski threw themselves – quite literally – into their physically demanding, often acrobatic roles; at times, I worried they would injure themselves.

Their delightfully exaggerated “artsy” accents also injected dark humour into this fascinating and somewhat disturbing take on jealousy and exploitation.

Pool (No Water) is on again at The Actors’ Hub in East Perth on February 3, 11, 15, and 23 as part of Fringe World Perth.

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