Image: Another Soup
Idgie Beau - Grace
Charles Warner - Jimmy
One couple is always naked - one couple is always watching.
Grace and Jimmy are in their late twenties.
They have a house and a child and like normal things - TV, takeaway and travel.
But when Grace notices a rather athletic display taking place in a neighbour's bedroom, she begins to watch.
So does Jimmy.
And before long, neither of them can look away.
Window is guaranteed to leave you smirking long into the night, while you lie awake in bed wondering what your neighbours might be getting up to.
In a co-production with The So & So Arts Club, Another Soup presents Window, an honest portrayal of young married life, and what can happen when the everyday is constantly interrupted by the unexpected.
Written by a winner of four Australian Writers' Guild Awards, Ron Elisha's latest offering of minutely-observed domesticity and voyeurism promises to be an exploration of emotional truth like no other.
Directed by the award-winning Dave Spencer and starring Idgie Beau and Charles Warner, this is at once a diverting and unnerving piece of new writing.
Presenting the lives of ordinary people through documentaries on TV, for example, is nothing new, but it does reveal something about the nature of modern human beings - we have an insatiable appetite to peer into the most intimate aspects of other people's lives.
Of course, the possibility of delving ever deeper into the lives of complete strangers has been enabled by the likes of Facebook and social media platforms in general, where people voluntarily offer-up their lives for public scrutiny in all the gory details of revelatory media which often leave nothing to the imagination.
The idea of people following, or monitoring, the antics of others is the basic concept for the plot of this play by Ron Elisha.
Except the antics the action follows here are not described in text or photography posted on social media, or even in print.
The story revolves around new parents Grace and Jimmy.
All the action takes place in the intimate setting of their bedroom, but the focus of their attention is one in a neighbouring home.
Right at the start, while tidying-up her bedroom, Grace chances to glance out of her window and notices a couple in a neighbouring home having sex.
Now this is not merely a one-off 'show' - events in the nearby house continue for several years.
At first, both Jimmy and Grace are interested in their neighbours' activities, so much so that at one stage they turn around their bed to get a better view and settle down with a bowl of munchies to watch like being in a cinema.
But, as time passes, Grace becomes completely obsessed with the lives of the copulating couple framed in the window opposite, and starts to concoct personalities and motivations for the couple that, in reality, she knows nothing about - except that they have great sex.
Topically, this is a kind of extension of the notion of fake news, morphed into a fantasy world of fake lives.
That, though, is only one of the complex array of issues that this deceptively simple play actually throws our way.
For example, as her obsession intensifies, we wonder if Grace is suffering from some kind of mental illness - Jimmy certainly seems to think at one point that she needs professional help.
But the right to privacy, especially in the most intimate aspects of our lives, the role of social media and the merging of reality and fantasy are all part of the content mix here.
And the ordinary gets set against the extraordinary in terms of the lives of Grace and Jimmy compared with the activities of their sexually athletic neighbours.
Covering a period of several years, the continual passing of time is marked by many changes of clothing which, though the actors deal with it commendably, does have the effect of slowing down progress and irritating slightly, even if breathing spaces provide us with time for thought.
Idgie Beau and Charles Warner provide wholly convincing characters, even if we don't learn quite enough about them, and there are nice touches of humour in Ron Elisha's script.
In the end, we aren't offered a completely satisfying explanation as to why Grace and Jimmy (and, by implication, the rest of us) are so fascinated by the doings of others.
And a seemingly simple idea spawns an almost overwhelming plethora of issues and questions that are not easy to untangle and digest satisfactorily, though the remedy to intrusive gawping into our private lives is clearly shown to be a simple and very effective one.
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for The Bread & Roses Theatre
Our show listing for Window
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