How did director Kate Champion adapt the 2000 comedy by American playwright Becky Mode for Ensemble Theatre audiences?
“I worked together with Australian writer and dramaturg Jane Fitzgerald to relocate the play from Manhattan to Sydney,” she says. “We went through the script finding any expressions or place and character names that were distinctly American and changed them to equivalent colloquial references.”
Champion says she was thrilled when she heard that Mode was happy to allow this relocation as it makes the play immediately relevant and recognisable to a local audience.
“On top of that,” Champion adds, “We’ve been able to make the protagonist a woman, which again gives a fresh perspective to the play’s material. It’s a comedy undercut with pathos for the woman at its centre who is simply trying to do her job.”
The work takes a potshot at socialites who are denied entry to their favourite Woolloomooloo eating spot. It also explores the social divisions between those who are doing the serving and those who are being served.
From “global fusion” to “molecular gastronomy,” high-end dining may have changed its vocabulary as often as it has changed its ingredients, but the number of aficionados just keeps increasing.
The sole cast member Contessa Treffone carries the play as Sam, who must juggle the demands of some 40 insistent characters at the price of losing her job.
“Our relocation of Fully Committed to Sydney’s restaurant culture means the play speaks directly to our local experience of the ‘foodie’ phenomena,” Champion says.
Oct 15-Nov 16. Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli. $38-$78+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.ensemble.com.au
By Irina Dunn