The twists and turns of being Straight

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By Pixie Woodlund

 

Do you occasionally partake in the odd boozy night? If so, think about all the drunken dares you have had in your time on this planet. If you have lived any kind of life with spark, you’ve had at least one debaucherous dare! We won’t go there about any of mine because… the time I…. well… that thing… then… Yeah. Let’s leave that alone right there.

Imagine a fun-loving, adventurous old friend coming to crash unexpectedly on you and your partner’s couch. Sounds like a blast but the pretty picked fence you worked so hard to build immediately starts to rust. They drink all your beer and then there’s the porn star they bring back one night. Errrm…? With this kind of cocktail, naturally things are going get a little bit cray, a little bit awkward and a little bit out of bounds.

St Kilda’s Red Stitch Theatre has encountered such a dilemma and is happy to guide you through the possible outcomes with their brand new play, DC Moore’s Straight. The play is based on the 2009 movie Humpday where a solid and happy couple’s marriage is put to the test when a faithful husband gets the idea to do an amateur porn movie with his straight best friend. This hilariously funny and challenging concept takes the marriage and friendship to some strange and comedic places.

I asked the Director of , DC Moore, a few questions to try and get a glimpse into the theatre production.

 

What made you decide to take on board the script Straight and direct the play? How did it come about?

I’ve been wanting to work with Red Stitch for a while now, so would’ve probably directed a zebra crossing for them.  Luckily Straight jumped straight off the page for me – it’s hilarious, provocative, human, original and you can see yourself in it.

 

What has been one of the highlights of directing Straight?

Working with three new actors (as well as one favourite).  It’s rare for me to go onto a project where I haven’t already got a great relationship with most of the cast.  To build that up quickly and to see Rosie, Ben and Ryan surprising me with their talent and skill is really joyful.  Another highlight has been solving the puzzle of the show as a group.  The script is hilarious but then you need to really explore what is happening at any given point, so that it doesn’t feel like a funny radio play.

 

The movie Humpday is so endearing because it is so realistic and relatable. How have you captured the essence of the “straight guy” in the theatrical version of the story?

Casting, first and foremost.  Ben and Ryan are lovely, straight guys.  They’re good looking in a non-threatening way – ie, they’re good looking like all actors tend to be just that bit-better looking than us mortals, but in the way that makes you go, oh yeah, he could be my friend, brother or co-worker.  That makes the conceit that the play turns on way more shocking and intriguing.  Also, Rosie’s character is such a good wife – in that she’s utterly normal – non-judgmental, friendly and open-minded, which makes you really empathise with the test her marriage undergoes.

 

The movie’s couple is older Y gen, quite cool and down to earth who are simply growing up, and the marriage comes across as pretty solid. What’s the couple’s dynamic in the play? How have you created tension between them?

The couple in the play are what we’d all call a solid couple.  They have fun together, don’t fight, have a healthy-enough sexual relationship and are figuring out what the next step is – kids, a house etc.  It’s crucial to believe there’s nothing wrong with them, so that when the husband especially realises that he’s still missing something, you don’t go, yeah, I saw that from the start.  It has to be a good relationship.  And it does feel like that – I find them charming.

 

Explain your relationship with Red Stitch Theatre and what else have you got coming up in the near future? 

My relationship with Red Stitch is one of admiration.  It’s my first time here and it’s so well-run.  It’s got a great energy that’s come from the milestone of a new artistic director, and it’s in a great location.  After Straight, I direct The Pirates of Penzance in Hamer Hall for The Production Company, with a group of clowns that can sing brilliantly, including Brent Hill, Genevieve Lemon and Adam Murphy.  I’ll probably write a new musical between Straight and rehearsals for that.  And I’m in the middle of setting up two of my shows for big seasons in 2014 and mid 2015.

 

The play’s season runs from Friday 30 August – Saturday 28 September (not Monday or Tuesday) at Red Stitch Theatre, Rear 2, Chapel St, St Kilda. www.redstitch.net or on 03 95338083

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