Review - Wheel of Fortune: relevant and downright sexy
Right: Elise Greig and Veronica Neave. Below right: Ruby Clark ) and Ron Kelly. Photos by Deelan Do
Wheel of Fortune
By Troy Armstrong, Richard Jordan, Jacki Mison and Krystal Sweedman
Directed by Tim Hill Produced by Troy Armstrong and Natasha Walford
Presented by Troy Armstrong Management, Optic Archive and Metro Arts
Metro Arts Theatre
Season runs until Saturday, June 9. Bookings: www.metroarts.com.au/posts/wheel-of-fortune/
Spinning into theatres, Wheel of Fortune is a ride you won’t forget easily.
Presented by Troy Armstrong Management, Optic Archive and Metro Arts, this exploration of sexual desire has intrigued local audiences and set the bar high on new work.
The play utilised sound, lighting, film and live theatre, to revolve scenes onstage in a roulette of encounters to create a unique cinematic and theatrical experience. It was a clever concept that used the space rewardingly as Wheel of Fortune wove film and theatre together in an appealing display.
Director, Tim Hill, and writers Troy Armstrong, Richard Jordan, Jacki Mison and Krystal Sweedman, joined forces in this seamless presentation. Audiences remained engaged in the production, which didn’t miss a beat when transitioning between film and theatre.
The text, loosely based on the controversial 1920s play La Ronde, maintains a playfulness that touches on a number of sexual identities and preferences. Throughout the show, audiences witnessed actors play in a total of two scenes each. Somehow, and by a stroke a genius, their intimate stories entwine for an evening of passion, erotic desires, lustful adventures and the disturbed unseen. For a cold winter night, Wheel of Fortune definitely heated things up.
The play featured a talented cast of emerging and current Brisbane artists. Set in our local town, jokes landed appropriately and made sense to the responding audience. While a number of scenes made for intense storylines, a couple stood out among the others.
Jacqui McLaren played ‘The Au Pair’ and was lovable and honest in her jests with ‘School Boy’, Brendan Lorenzo. Their chemistry on stage was undeniable. Ron Kelly was defeated and raw as ‘The Lawyer’. He shared a light-hearted and intriguing scene with Ruby Clark, ‘The Socialite’. Ruby committed to her performance wholeheartedly and really hit the mark. Elise Greig, ‘The Portrait Photographer, and Veronica Neave, ‘The Stage Actress’, were hilarious and captivating in their roles together. Veronica went on to master her scene with Stephen Hirst, ‘The Politician’, who both proved to be a delight to watch onstage.
The production had so much to it, that actors changed on the spot to ready themselves for their next scene. It was intriguing to watch in a Love Actually meets 50 Shades of Grey kind of way.
Wheel of Fortune left audiences wanting more – and for all the right reasons. There are many opportunities within this production to expand the show; to either take another circle around the characters’ lives or to push boundaries further. After all, sex sells and Wheel of Fortune is a production where audiences are bound to want another ticket to ride.
Wheel of Fortune is contemporary, relevant and downright sexy. Like all good amusements, hurry and book your seat before this affair leaves town.