Different Class at Etcetera Theatre
It’s the morning after a big one at Maria’s and there’s plenty to discuss. Okay, so maybe the night itself wasn’t very interesting – full of “top knot twats” as usual – but when Andy comes over the conversation soon becomes a lot more than just a post-party analysis.
Sat in front of a typical early twenty-something’s living room after a Saturday night (scattered tinnies, wine bottles, and half-filled bin bags), the audience soon learns that Maria leads an average life working in PR, having a good time on weekends. Andy, a small-time stand-up comedian, can’t think of anything worse and sets about picking apart the monotony of Maria’s (and the audience’s) life.
Unfortunately, the premise forces writer Kevin Lee into attempting to tackle almost every societal issue among young adults. Robert Ansell’s reasonably earnest ramblings as Andy jump so quickly between generic modern problems that the audience is left at a complete loss as to what they are really supposed to be musing upon: first it’s the omni-presence of skinny jeans and MDMA at house parties, then our conscience-massaging concern for the environment and next gentrification’s yielding of craft beer pubs and extortionate rent. The confusion isn’t helped by a script that is both frustratingly cyclical and lacking in the snappy interplay needed for an almost completely conversational duologue.
Different Class is saved from stagnancy as Andy disappears offstage and returns to perform the opening of his stand-up set for Maria. Suddenly, a new dimension is added, with Andy’s complete comedic incompetence providing a curious, meta-dramatic metaphor through which he can address the terrifying nature of true human interaction. This creates a predictable but nevertheless exciting energy between the two characters.
Had Kevin Lee known what he wanted the audience to be pondering, Different Class could have been a thought-provoking insight into the uniformity of urban society. As it is, Andy and Maria only provide a surface representation of a clutter of issues, resulting in a confused attempt to dissect the vicious cycle of early adulthood.
Different Class is on at Etcetera Theatre from 15th September until 19th September, for further information or to book visit here.