Signed and Sealed REVIEW by Jodie B. Sloan

Paris Anderson, spoiled rich kid turned wannabe bohemian artist, is displaying her latest works at a local gallery. But she and her staff are hiding something, covering up a crime so heinous, so depraved that it will send shockwaves through the art world should it ever come to light...

Presented by Fusebox Productions, Signed and Sealed is a wonderful piece of immersive theatre set in the intimate surrounds of the Woolloongabba Art Gallery. As guests at the collection’s opening, you’re invited to grab a drink and take in the beautiful, deeply meaningful art, as Paris and her (increasingly stressed) staff attempt to distract your attention from whatever’s lurking behind those black lines you’ve been warned not to cross.

It’s your choice who to follow as the night goes on. Do you listen in on Paris (Mikayla Hosking) as she berates Max (John Caswell), or edge closer to Cindy (Lara Rix) and her brother Ryan (Nathan Kennedy) as they bicker? Or perhaps you’ll decide to hover awkwardly by the balcony as Sylvia (Tahlia Downs) necks a bottle of champagne to get through the night. Wherever you end up, a portrait of the artist as a young man gigantic bitch is formed, and the team edge closer and closer to revealing the truth of who or what is waiting underneath the ominous red sheet.

Signed and Sealed feels almost like a classic farce, in all the best ways. Constant entrances and exits, exaggerated performances, and just a touch of the absurd, it packs a lot of laughs into its 50 minute running time, including some stand out scenes where Paris’ weary employees read a little too much into her pieces.

A few jokes fail to land, and the stomping of high heels on wooden floors can become a little distracting, but Signed and Sealed is different, inventive, and exactly what Anywhere Festival is all about. Catch it this weekend – and while you’re there, enjoy the stunning works of artist Ian Smith, on display (for real!) at the gallery.

Jodie B. Sloan (website)

Dates: 25th-26th May (performances twice daily)
Where: Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Stanley Street, Woolloongabba.
Tickets/More infohere

Reviewer attended the May 24th performance.

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