Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations

Six seemingly ordinary characters tell their unique life stories which can speak volumes to an audience in lockdown

By: Oct. 15, 2020

Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations

Embracing the "new normal" of hybrid theatre-film, F Creations brings their version of Peter Malicki's (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL to South African screens for the month of October. Made up of a selection of monologues from the award-winning international playwright Malicki, (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL delves into the presentation of lives seemingly - yet anything but - normal.

(EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL is filmed on a stage which gives some feeling of being in the theatre. Incorporating filmic aspects such as different camera angles, Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations close-ups, sound effects and cutaways, this production brings an uncommon experience of theatre to the screen. With actors addressing you directly, it extends the level of intimacy to a theatre production that you would not necessarily experience live - making it quite engaging.

Peter Malicki is known as one of the world's leading monologue writers. His monologues are written in a style that feels almost conversational while being able to stay performative. Each monologue in (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL has a quirkiness to it which keeps the momentum flowing and leaves one anticipating where the narrative will go. Acted by a Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations cast of six distinctive performers, this production has enough ebb and flow to it to be intriguing, and keeps most of the energy level high throughout. It also includes a surprise piece to end off with which makes each production of (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL unique.

Amy Young, Kim R2, Gizelle Willows, Gavin Werner, Lizanne Peters and Matthew Newman make up the cast. Each has so successfully and naturistically intertwined themselves into their characters over the short period of their monologue that it could be said if I were to meet any of them in person, it would be hard to separate the stories heard during Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL from their real-life personas! A special mention to Kim R2 for her excellent comedic timing, and Matthew Newman for truly being the standout performer in this collection with his character's emotional trajectory.

Director Faeron Wheeler has done well not only to consider this production as a whole, but also to consider each monologue in their entirety. Instead of presenting a filmed stage show as her company has done this year, Wheeler's exploration into hybrid theatre-film proves successful as she uses and gives a noteworthy exhibition of both.

Review: (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL Makes Its Filmed Debut From F Creations

If you find you are missing theatre, film or people, (EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL taps into all of these aspects in a pleasingly idiosyncratic way. What surprised me most from this play was the sense of nostalgia it left. These six actors telling somewhat unbelievable yet also slightly relatable life stories (hence the title...) produces an unexpected yearning to simply get to know people. Having been under lockdown for nearly 7 months now, it didn't hit me how much I've missed learning more about "ordinary" people through conversation than when I watched this production. The surprise ending also rounded this feeling off nicely.

It can't be said if this would hit the same way under "normal" circumstances, making this theatre-film debut an ideal watch for 2020.

Photo credit: Supplied


(EXTRA)ORDINARY, (UN)USUAL is available for streaming via Quicket until the end of October. Get your tickets here: https://qkt.io/ex-un

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