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Print Version

Auckland Fringe 2013
Eryn Wilson

at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 20 Feb 2013 to 23 Feb 2013
[50 mins]

Reviewed by Nik Smythe, 21 Feb 2013

The doors open a fashionable ten minutes late on opening night: the first lesson in the allegedly well-respected casting agent's audition workshop masterclass?  A seated muso blats out some bluesy riffs on an electro-coustic guitar while hapless assistant ‘Lucky' (Johnny Moffat) takes individual casting headshots of the convening audience. 

These are soon to be put to use once the bespectacled, Brylcream-mopped man-in-black (with gold embroidered shoulder panels) himself, Tim Dibley, enters in a sneering whirlwind to dispense his characteristic brand of crash-course introduction to the heady, demanding, cutthroat world of screen auditions. 

From the first his pseudo-effete voice of consummate experience has the star-studded opening night crowd howling with recognition at his industry lingo and passing snide references to various local practitioners, present or otherwise. 

With the added feature of live streaming in-house video of the proceedings, Dibley's patented, vaguely cutting-edge and more than infrequently Too Far tutorial style covers off all the classic scenarios the would-be auditionee might expect and/or dread: crying, kissing, nudity et al. 

Among the dubious factoids I learn is that in screen acting there are only six emotions, and happiness isn't even one of them!

There's enough behind-the-scenes based entertainment around (Extras etc) for your average punter to understand the processes being lampooned here, but it would be interesting to compare how much a non-trade based audience would laugh given the high rate of in-jokes. 

Indeed, this whole production seems primarily a gift to ‘Mr Dibley's many many friends and associates from the mad, pretentious world of the screen arts.  Since just about everybody in the Fringe Festival audience demographic either is or knows someone connected to said industry, his potential market is hardly compromised.
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