REVIEW: Table for Two
TABLE FOR TWO AT BONDI FEAST
Reviewed by Brianna McCarthy
Unpredictable, warm and charismatic. Table For Two ran for two nights to an intimate audience, closing the 2019 Bondi Feast Festival on an inspiring note.
Opening to old-timey 1920’s music, this one-man show has big band energy. The audience is enthralled from the moment we encounter our goofy, dim witted waiter protagonist. Will Tredinnick, the waiter, bumbles around the small stage, trying his best to hold it together in a job that clearly overwhelms the poor fellow. Each step of a task seems to confuse him and he stumbles his way into chaos all with a smile and beaming enthusiasm.
The show relies heavily on the participation of an audience member, who is called on to play the restaurant's only customer. This particular night featured the happy cooperation of an unsuspecting performance partner, who quickly added his own wise cracks and offers into the mix. Tredinnick never misses a beat, responding to each surprising improvisation with commitment and attentiveness. He allows the participant the space to speak up, responding gleefully, while also maintaining control of the scene, angling things effortlessly to keep the show going. The pair of them together made this particular show a unique riff off session.
The show is refreshing in its physical comedy genre. With jokes that rely not so much on words but on silly mistakes, costume malfunctions and food flying everywhere, it’s easy to laugh along like a giddy child. I had a real belly laugh going when a boisterous chef character graced us with an aggressive cooking performance to music. The physical gags are inventive and overtly playful, with jokes that are never left at the expense of others. The well-meaning, victimless nature of the show is something I really appreciate, as kind comedy feels to be difficult to come by.
I think that this kind of work with its humble hilariousness goes to show that foolish and nice (as opposed to wise and mean) comedy for adult audiences is still very much worth striving for. I left the theatre that night feeling warm and with a full heart. As the noise of the festival faded away on my walk along the beach after the show, I first noticed the roar of crashing waves and then the fact that I had been smiling from the moment I left Table For Two.