Fringe 06 Review: The Drunk Monologues
The Drunk Monologues at BatsReviewed by Lyndon Hood
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Photo Credit: Guler Ugur
The Drunk Monologues
Written & Performed by Diane Spodarek
Directed by Karen Ludwig
- 11 February
6.30pm (55 Minutes)
Bats Theatre (Bookings 04 802 4175, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The set consists of a chair, a guitar stand and case, and lots and lots of bottles.
In The Drunk Monologues, Diane Spodarek recounts episodes of her life - from childhood dreams of being cool, male and black, to anecdotes from the thriving eighties punk scene in Detroit and later life in New York. But most of all she looks back on an extended love/like relationship with alcohol.
Spodarek's natural style of performing rapidly draws you in to her story. Not presented as a polished stage monologue, this is more like spending time with a lively storyteller in a bar - one who either narrates or acts out the scandalous, embarrassing scenes as the moment requires.
With the benefit of teetotal hindsight, she picks out telling episodes from her life, relationships and drinking and presents them with the flair that comes from repeated telling. The performance is often hilarious as she mines comedy from bizarre incidents or various rationalisations of her drinking. There are also touching and insightful moments (sometime the same as the funny ones), particularly as the episodic memories are framed by the idea of being given the chance at a second - alcohol free - life by God.
The Drunk Monologues is raw, heartfelt, upretentious, unashamed and entertaining. Punk theatre, with songs.
Diane Spodarek's play Two Transexuals at the Airport will be presented as part of the Couch Soup one-page play festival at the Paramount later in the Fringe.