This is a fun show about Sam, a restaurant reservationist in a very busy restaurant in Sydney. Through the show her phone, more to the point phones, run hot with people wanting to book a table when the restaurant is already fully committed, an americanisation meaning the restaurant is fully booked.
There are socialites ready to twist both Sam’s arms to get a table. Some people want to go higher up and speak with the chef or the manager and Sam has to fob them off.
Becky Mode’s FULLY COMMITTED was a hit on Broadway and it is easy to see why, comic mayhem ensues. Kate Champion’s production serves the play well. She has made some notable changes from the Broadway production. The playwright agreed to change the play to a Sydney setting so there are a lot of local references in the play which works well. On Broadway the role was played by a male actor, Here the part is played by an actress.
Also the Broadway production saw Sam manning a single switchboard running hot. In Champion’s production a large number of phones line the stage area and we see Sam jump from one phone to the next. Champion’s decision to have multiple phones on stage works well and cleverly magnifies the level of chaos. The phones run hot including Sam’s own mobile phone packed a way somewhere in her bag.
Contessa Treffone’s performance is a treat as she shuffles madly between a vast array of characters. It doesn’t help that her assistant on the phones is away today because he has gone for a job interview. There’s the woman who the Manager doesn’t want to talk to because she is so ugly.!There’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s good natured secretary who is constantly on the phone.
There’s the very superior chef who takes his own sweet time coming in to work and once arrived won’t be rushed by anyone. Sam knows it is the chef ringing when the specially ‘marked’ red phone rings.
Sam’s father is constantly on the phone to her giving her moral support. His warm, good natured chats keep Sam going.
Treffone switches well between the characters using different expressions, body language and voice intonations.
Recommended, Becky Mode’s FULLY COMMITTED plays the Ensemble Theatre until the 16th November. Performances vary so best to check the Ensemble website.