Masterclass @ The Old Fitz

Charlie Garber and Gareth Davies in MASTERCLASS. Pic Chris McKeen Newscorp
Charlie Garber and Gareth Davies in MASTERCLASS. Pic Chris McKeen Newscorp

The new custodians of The Old Fitz theatre, Red Line Productions, have invited a fringe favourite, MASTERCLASS, to kick off their inaugural season.

Written and performed by Gareth Davies and Charlie Garber, this entertaining existentialist two hander is an acerbic and absurd examination of celebrity and the deification of thespians.

Peppered with all the pretentions that can pitfall performers, MASTERCLASS tends to pratfall in its pricking, loading up the ludicrous to lethal levels.

The theatrical expressions of “knocking them dead” and “killing the audience” takes on a literalness when it is stated that Gareth’s acting eminence arose from a performance that had showgoers shuffling off their mortal coil.

This is why he is hailed as a master of the theatrical art and why he is taking the pulpit to impart his towering technique, a master class of motivational manure to fertilize the wannabees delirious desire for fame.

It is his creation, Charlie, his co-star, and quasi manager, who cajoles and coerces Gareth to evangelise his talent, the apotheosis of thespian craft, to the enthralled disciples he can milk for oodles of dollars.  Is Charlie Gareth’s alter ego? Altered ego? Or does the acolyte put Gareth on the altar of his ego?

A little bit Stoppard, a little bit Becket, complete with verbal jousting and gymnastics, MASTERCLASS is a concise piece well suited to the black box aesthetic of the space.

Energetic and proficient in timing and technique, the actors give their own little master class in theatrical performance, and those in themselves are worth the admission price of admission.

MASTERCLASS holds forth Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 5pm at The Old Fitzroy till the end of the month