I get this play! Young playwright Brooke Robinson has tackled a very worthy subject in a bold, confronting way.
The subject is flat sharing. Flat sharing is usually the domain of young people in between leaving the family home and settling down with a partner and creating a family of their own. It’s a time where often young people usually let their hair down, have parties, leave dishes in the sink overnight or for days on end….
With her play Robinson gives us a very different demographic. She imagines what it would be like now, in Sydney, for a frail, middle-aged person to be looking for share accommodation.
Robinson’s main character is Sandra, a woman in her fifties who has been undergoing cancer treatment. When the play starts we see her arriving home to a unit which she shares with a young couple. Sandra is looking forward to cooking dinner for them. She is greeted with the news that they are giving her notice. They have a friend who needs a place to stay. She is given two weeks to find a new place.
The play then charts Sandra’s journey as she tries to find a new home. We see her go through one interview after another. With each interview she tries to suss out what the flat owner is looking for and present herself in that image but without success. Sandra becomes increasingly depressed and agitated.
Robinson’s play felt close to home and authentic. As a mature aged person I have had to share houses with people who were as odd and grating as those portrayed in the play. Robinson’s characters weren’t far fetched at all. Hell, one time I had the police knocking on my door, saying that one of my flatmates, who had recently done a runner, was wanted for offences he committed whilst working for the late Alan Bond!
Experienced Sydney theatre director Marion Potts is the director for the play’s premiere production. Potts had this to say in her Director’s Note in the program. ‘The play is about what happens when power is held in the hands of childish adults, about people who almost infantilise themselves, just so they can continue living with the sweetness of lollipops.”
Melanie Liertz’s compact set and costume design, Alexander Berlage’s incisive lighting and Nate Edmondson’s edgy soundscape create the world for this fine trio of performers to work in.
The staging sees Tara Morice brilliantly play the central role of the beleaguered Sandra whilst Fayssal Bazzi and Kelly Paterniti convincingly play a range of different couples who for a variety of reasons/issues aren’t able to accommodate Sandra into their lives.
Recommended, Brooke Robinson’s GOOD COOK. FRIENDLY. CLEAN, directed by Marion Potts, is playing the Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross until Saturday 16th June.