FRINGE 2019 – Septem – Bakehouse Theatre – 3K

By Julia Cudsi

‘Experimental’ theatre is one of the stalwarts of the Adelaide Fringe, and Eclipse Productions’ ‘Septem’ fits nicely within this category.

Advertised as running in ‘real time’ (which I did find somewhat confusing, given that by definition theatre is portrayed in ‘real time’), ‘Septem’ focusses on seven strangers who are locked into a room together for a reality TV show and must select, within thirty minutes, one person to take a poison pill.  Introductions, justifications and explanations start to run down the clock before decisions can be made.

The characters are fairly stereotypical and two dimensional (such as a “nice girl,” a flamboyant gay writer, a somewhat deranged young woman, an angry white man,  a sweet nerd with a physical disability) and the “twist” at the end is not as shocking as you might expect. However, the acting is solid and the concept, although not completely unique, is sufficiently unusual and topical in a world obsessed with reality television to make an impact that carries through well after the show is over.

In the context of an arts festival which originated from the celebration of up and coming local talent, ‘Septem’ is a very intriguing and thought provoking way to spend 45 minutes of your life.


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