15/07/2010 - 00:00

Fancy Fare’s back in town

15/07/2010 - 00:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

LIZA Minelli’s claim in the hit musical ‘Cabaret’ that “life is a cabaret” is a sentiment fully supported by part-time barrister and full-time playwright-cum-theatre director, Ross Lonnie.

Fancy Fare’s back in town

LIZA Minelli’s claim in the hit musical ‘Cabaret’ that “life is a cabaret” is a sentiment fully supported by part-time barrister and full-time playwright-cum-theatre director, Ross Lonnie.

Mr Lonnie, who hails from Margaret River, hopes to transform the Perth public (in particular, those who dine in top-shelf eateries) into a throng of theatregoers by combining live theatre with dining out.

And he plans to do this without a proper stage or any elaborate lighting or sound systems.

Mr Lonnie is the man behind the once-amateur production, Fancy Fare, touted as “a comedy about the perils of fine dining” – a dinner theatre experience that has been specially designed for performance in a restaurant.

In fact, it’s a comedy about three couples dining at a Margaret River winery and the dreadful service they receive.

In 2008, Mr Lonnie approached some of the state’s leading restaurants, including Fraser’s and Chez Pierre, with the idea of performing a play in a restaurant where actors sit at tables alongside paying customers.

He says most of those he spoke to reacted favourably when he was searching for venues to host the first Perth tour following positive reactions at various spots across the country.

In November 2007, Margaret River’s Vat 107 hosted the show for two weeks, while in April 2008 the Hobart Fringe Festival invited the play to perform at the well-known local restaurant, Mures, for a week before it returned west and concluded its run at Busselton’s Goose Restaurant.

Following the amateur season two years ago, which included Mr Lonnie’s actor son and some thespian teachers from the South West, Fancy Fare has now turned professional, following extensive reworking of the script and the adoption of a professional cast, crew and, most importantly, an experienced and talented director in Nichola Renton-Weir

“It wasn’t quite right so we completely reworked the script,” Mr Lonnie says.

“We work-shopped the play, conducted a proper casting and appointed a professional crew and director.”

And in line with the step up to professional production, the venues chosen to host the performance are among Perth’s finest establishments.

Towards the end of the month (July 22), Brent Pollard’s Mosmans Restaurant will host Fancy Fare, providing diners with a two-course meal and the performance for $95 per person.

Hosting for the second time, Chez Pierre will put on the show next week (July 18), following Palais 85 on July 16 and Prego Restaurant on July 20. Matilda Bay Restaurant is on the bill for the end of the month (July 30).

Bringing theatre to the dining masses is one thing, but Mr Lonnie suggests it’s the economical manner in which he can do it that makes it so attractive.

“Just to build a set at somewhere like the Playhouse, where I showed my previous play, To Have and To Hold in 1994, costs $50,000,” he says.

“It costs me nothing to do it in a restaurant.”

Mr Lonnie says he is keen to take the play to Melbourne and Sydney and then beyond Australia.

“From modest beginnings in Margaret River, who knows where it could go.”

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options