The Living Room
Until 13 Mar 2020

Review by Talia Gaertner-Jones

Dinner starts at 7:30pm, don’t be late.

Lining up outside the apartments on East Terrace, you are greeted by friendly faces and taken into the apartment block, up the lift and into a small apartment living room, with the instruction to fill from the back.

When entering the room, there are two people in at home, a woman preparing food in the kitchen, who we are soon to find out is the mother and her husband, standing by the dining table watching television. They don’t interact with the people who have just sat down to be an audience in their home, but just carry on their business.

As the show starts, the mother sets the table and serves dinner to her husband and they are joined by their son and daughter. The daughter played by writer and director, Laura Desmond.

Over the next 50 minutes, the family cover a range of dinner table topics such as Indigenous Rights, Feminism, Equality, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Rape Culture, Arts Funding and Misogyny – pretty much everything that has been at the forefront of the news in recent times. Each of these topics is discussed by the family showing multiple viewpoints. Desmond’s performance is definitely the strongest and she keeps the pace going, while the rest of the cast give the impression that at times they struggle to remember their lines.

The idea of setting the performance in a real living room was good in theory, however it did mean that some audience members were unable to see much of the action throughout the entire show. As the performers never left the dinner table, I only had view of two out of the four cast members, with audience members behind me, sitting on a couch, saying they weren’t able to see any of the performers.

Desmond certainly does have a talent for writing and performing; hopefully the rest of the performers will match her level as their season moves on.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)