Collaborators & Theatre du Foz, The Open Couple & Waking Up

Review in Issue 6-4 | Winter 1994

A polite warning was pinned on the door, mentioning that a loud gunshot was in the show. If only it had been during the first play!

Waking Up, by Dario Fo, is a fifteen-minute monologue, performed by Debra Maurice. Flat, slow and pointless, it posed questions in my mind, like: why am I here reviewing something that is traditional theatre lacking anything ‘physical’? Even the one mimed action, the carrying of a baby bath full of water, was weak.

I returned after the interval to be told that Dario Fo’s The Open Couple was entirely in French. My stomach sank. But it needn’t have! Debra Maurice and Dominique Grandmougin wobbled on about things I knew not, but managed to hold the attention throughout the play’s 75 minutes. Using an abstract set of a door and window – looking like a framework from a ‘with it’ 1960s French movie – Debra not only showed her extreme French-ness (as opposed to her dubious English-ness in Waking Up) but Dominique proved to be a magnificent physical actor in voice, expression and body. I can’t remember when I last laughed so heartily at something which was more or less gibberish to me, but laugh I did. I understood the story (and the gunshots!) enough to comprehend the funny ending, with a brief thirty-second, one-line appearance from Michael Sullivan. I do think we will see a lot more of Dominique – his relaxed style, comedy timing and physical presence is enviable.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-4
p. 25