Written by Xavier Coy
Directed by Ed Wightman
29 January to 2 February 2019
A new play by Xavier Coy, winner of the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival Writer Award for ‘Caught Out.’ Presented as part of FreshWorks at the Old 505 Theatre from 29 January to 2 February. Gaz and Mez are on a mission. On unfamiliar ground, Gaz and Mez break into a massive mansion in Sydney’s elite Eastern Suburbs, out to get their fair share. As the older and wiser statesman in the duo, Mez leads the way and Gaz follows loyally. A job’s a job – but what Gaz doesn’t know is that this is no ordinary job.
When the owners of the property come home to find the two intruders in their house, things start to take a nosedive. Secrets are exposed and harsh realities are told. The question is ‘What length will we go to in order to be heard?’
Martin Bell, Xavier Coy, Fiona Mahl, Emily Stewart
Directed by Ed Wightman
Production and Photography by Becky Matthews
Lighting Designer: Kianah Marléna
Sound Designer: Martin Gallagher
Set Designer: Elle Vanderdeyl
Stage Manager: Alex Smith
Lisa Thatcher –
“Are You Listening Now? is a complex message wrapped in deceptively simple theatre. It’s a modern take on an old narrative, but it has a subtle inner core that makes for an intelligent, sophisticated play. Ed Wightman directs the writer and the rest of the cast with a deft yet light touch and with Scott Witt’s movement notes and advice, makes the visceral beautiful.
Are You Listening Now enjoys at its core a strong group of young people keen to make a strong impression. Ele Vanderdeyl ‘s set design is a standout, particularly as interior design is central to the play’s themes. Kianah Marlena makes her subtle slighting technique thematically potent and in tune with the overall themes of the play. Martin Gallagher’s sound is gently affective.
Ed Wightman pulls great performances from his cast. Fiona Mahl is particularly strong as the highly intelligent Mez. Writer Xavier Coy is charming, funny and hopelessly tragic as Gaz. Emily Stewart exhibits a forceful grasp of character evolution as the transformative Claudia. The cast is complete with a strong performance from Martin Bell as Charles. All four characters properly exhibit metamorphosis essential to the developmental plotting of the play.”
Audrey Journal –
“Played as a straight-through single scene, Coy packs a lot into an hour. The opening minutes are tersely comic, founded on Mez’s exasperation with Gaz and his layman’s appreciation for contemporary interior design.”
“This short-lived production is part of the new writing-focused Freshworks season but is fully mounted: Elle Vanderdeyl’s set is appropriately chic; sound and light elements (Martin Gallagher and Kianah Marléna, respectively) are well thought out and deployed, and director Ed Wightman has the story unfold sharply while drawing fine performances from his cast.”
Suzy Goes See –
“Directed by Ed Wightman, the staging is energetic, with a high level of intensity fortifying the hour-long piece. Coy himself performs the role of Gaz, adept at delivering laughs in his portrayal of a surprising innocent. His criminal mentor Mez is played by Fiona Mahl, who in her strongest moments, can prove impressively convincing. Emily J Stewart is riveting as Claudia, one-half of the rich couple under siege, a persuasive presence who brings much needed nuance to the production. Multimillionaire Charles is a predictable personality that Martin Bell is able to make believable, for a familiar portrayal of Sydney-style privilege.”