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Do You Mind? - Old Fitz Theatre (NSW)

Written by Shay Debney. Directed by Julia Robertson


Would you understand a play written in questions? Do you think you'd be confronted with curiosity? Why not take a chance on a most unique and thought provoking production and find out?


Reviewed by Justin Clarke

Old Fitz Theatre, Woolloomooloo

Until 27th April, 2024


It’s hard to quantify the mystical questioning of Shay Debney’s Do You Mind? into mere simple words. Instead, I’ll follow their lead and ask you some questions. What do you want out of an independent show? Do you want it to be absurd or real? Would you like it to ask some hard hitting truths? Would you ideally want it to make you laugh? Is it excitable? How about a musical element? Do you get nervous when actors break the fourth wall? Do you even mind if there is a fourth wall? How about if a show were just questions?


Would you like to read on?


Do You Mind? Old Fitz Theatre. Images by Julia Robertson


Debney’s piece throws questions with caution, care, depravity, and ruthlessness at their audience. One after the other, Debney’s script is filled with questions that craft a throughline of thought, ranging from simple yes or no questions that they ask of their audience, through to some hard-hitting truths that will have you pondering onwads as you rest your head that same evening. 


Emerging from within a wooden box, Debney starts with a simple line, “Do you mind if I ask you question?” a query that in itself is a strange one to ask - a question that preempts another question. From here, we’re taken on a journey of discovering, through questions, which may or may not raise or answer themselves.


Perhaps the most curious piece of theatre you’ll see so far this year...a gorgeously portrayed late night treat

With Julia Robertson’s direction, Debney interacts with their audience throughout, involving them instinctively, purposely distancing them in others. Robertson leads Debney through cause and effect throughout, illustrating moments of self-destruction, anxiety filled movements, and moments of pure heart and humour. Debney and Robertson are a match made in theatrical questioning heaven. 


On paper, you would think the idea of one question after another would become monotonous, but it instead becomes its own language. Debney speaks phrases and offers thought through the most common form of conversation we have. Set amidst a simple backdrop with only a small lightbulb flickering above, and some moments of soundscape escapism offered, the performance rests entirely on Debney’s more-than-capable shoulders.


Perhaps the most curious piece of theatre you’ll see so far this year, Do You Mind? is a gorgeously portrayed late night treat at the Old Fitz Theatre. Why not make it a double bill and see Sparkling Darkly beforehand? Hang on, did I just end on a question?


 

Cast and Creative Team

Playwright: Shay Debney

Director: Julia Robertson

Producer: Rachael Adamson & RaCreate

Stage Manager: Noah Cohen-Stoddart


Cast (of 1): Shay Debney


This listing is updated as cast/creatives are confirmed in the lead-up to the production, and if there are changes to the team.


Dates + Ticketing


Season: April 23 - 27

Note- preview is 23/04, opening night (invite only) is 24/04


Times: 8.45pm Tues-Sat


Ticket Prices:

  • Preview: $20 + booking fee

  • General Admission: $25 + booking fee

Approximate Run Time: 70 minutes

Content Warnings: mature themes, suitable for an adult audience.


Note: Do You Mind? is part of the Old Fitz Theatre’s 2024 Late Night program and will take to the stage after the team of Sparkling Darkly have taken their bows. Booking a ticket to both a paired Mainstage and Late Night show will automatically apply a 20% discount to your Late Night ticket at checkout.


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