Five years after Natalie Medlock’ character went on a blind-date intensive, ‘Anna’ is back in 2019 with a mission to give love another chance. This time, however, it’s not the Basement, but Q theatre’s Loft that’s decked out with cosy tables, a karaoke get-up and a fully functioning bar looked after by the grim Yvette Parsons.
The premise is simple. Medlock meets someone new each night (on opening night Hayley Sproull bowls into the theatre replete with skateboard, high-vis and helmet) and explores what might happen when strangers, copious amounts of alcohol and some classic tunes get thrown into the mix.
Written by Bojana Novakovic, Mark Winter with Thomas Henning and Tanya Goldberg, the production is subtly guided through a series of text messages and phone calls that add authenticity while allowing director Sophie Roberts to shape the drama.
Medlock is an excellent performer and together with the very talented Sproull we’re treated to a slow but steadily growing flame, which admittedly starts and sputters, but slowly builds into a crackling exchange. Michael McCabe’s set design combines elegance and functionality in equal measure and Rachel Marlow’s lighting keeps our focus on our two lovers-in-waiting. Whilst the drama between Medlock and Sproull vacillates through the various shades of sharing, over-sharing, regrettable-but-not-regretted sharing, it’s important to also give full credit to Yvette Parsons, Karaoke Queen, whose character holds much of the show in delicate balance. Munching away at her chips, re-filling glasses or simply settling in to do her embroidery, she’s a magnet that reminds us that we are voyeurs watching a much-improved version of reality television.
The production will change very night and with a swag of talented performers each show guarantees to be different. There’s enough reason to keep coming back (especially as we don’t know who the guest actor will be) and if Silo were to offer audiences tickets to multiple shows it might also offer a deeper insight into the ongoing and immersive nature of finding love – at all costs.