REVIEW: Callback: Behind Frenemy Lines (The Basement)

Frith Horan

We’ll Call You [by Matt Baker]

Frith Horan
Frith Horan and Lucy Suttor

A show about actresses going through the rigmarole of auditioning sounds as indulgent as it does clichéd. Fortunately, both Frith Horan and Lucy Suttor are neither of those things. As Amy and Poppy respectively, the actresses and flatmates demonstrate their distinct differences in approaching the same role as the former, while navigating the peril of the latter. I know these types of actors. I went through drama school with these types of actors. I’ve seen what auditions can do to these types of actors. Clearly, Horan and Suttor know them too.

While Lewis Gregory’s script doesn’t necessarily build upon itself, Horan and Suttor have provided these relatively stereotypical characters with three dimensions, ensuring that the tension of the play culminates through their limited action. This accumulative conflict aids the transition of the third act as the characters break into the downstage space and take the play to its surrealist extremes, as does the costume design by Lizzie Morris.

Sound design by Oswell Didsbury starts well, but fails to progress with the play, as does Marshall Bull’s lighting design, the occasional lack thereof stopping the play dead in its tracks; Gregory’s focus on the scenes results in the transitions remaining unattended. While I, ironically, as a critic, felt awkward participating in the clap-o-meter, it does provide a genuine audience interaction and the Who Will Win? ending the show promises. In fact, Callback is one of the few shows that delivers exactly what it sets out to.

Any reservations I had about the show based on both its concept and marketing were immediately quelled, as Horan and Suttor provide an hour of excellent comedy that not only comments on, but also adds, albeit lightly, to the trope of both actors and their craft.

Callback plays at The Basement until September 26. For detail see The Basement

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