Eve’s Game is the perfect Anywhere Festival show. Enthralling, entertaining, enjoyable. A fantastic immersive theatre experience, where the venue is a vital component of the performance.
Dearest Miss Harrison.. Thank you so much for your kind invitation to your beautiful home, and for your generous hospitality. It was quite thrilling to hear all about your London debut, and to experience the fashionable new game of Paschal. I will ‘forget-not’ to keep the promise I made, and cannot wait for the opportunity to join you again. Yours sincerely, Elsie.
Eve’s Game takes place in the perfect setting of Brisbane’s historic Miegunyah House—a Victorian home suitable for a Brisbane family with sufficient resources to debut their daughter in London society. From the moment of handing over 21st century possessions at the door, all members of the opening night audience were captivated by the vivacious Miss Harrison (Sloman)—enjoying the opportunity to take tea, and to experience London’s lady-detective puzzle game craze. A memorable ‘at home,’ indeed.
The attention to detail was quite fabulous, starting on arrival with a warm welcome and a careful briefing as what to expect (including information as to which seats may or may not ‘work’ in the home). The props and art were fantastic (Georgia Bale, Ashleigh Freed, and Jo Willans): beautifully detailed, cleverly planned, and sufficiently intriguing. Just make sure you take your reading glasses with you, if you need them, so that you can fully-participate in working through the clues.
Participating is optional, but it is difficult not to become completely immersed in the experience. Ashlea Sloman (Eve Harrison) is absolutely compelling in the title role—establishing Eve as a vivacious, intelligent, witty, and vital woman. Ably abetted by her talented maid, Prudence Gates (Jo Willans), Eve’s Game starts as an afternoon tea of light conversation, moves to an engaging Paschal parlour game of puzzles and investigation, and concludes with candid observations and promises made.
Eve’s Game is the product of detailed research, taking inspiration from the life of Evelyn Harris (mother of Governor-General Casey). As little is known about the real Evelyn Harris, this show encourages audiences to think about the ‘lot’ of Victorian society women, and the challenges of only being expected to fulfil traditional roles of wife, mother and hostess. But don’t expect a ‘lecture.’ Eve’s Game is always entertaining, occasionally touching, and very enjoyable.
There are a few occasions when I come out of a show and can’t wait to see it again. Immediately. Sadly for audiences, the current world premiere run of Eve’s Game is already sold out. Let’s hope that Republic of Song will be able to offer future Miegunyah House performances soon, as this is a must see show that is both fun and thought-provoking.
Verdict: Unforgettable. A winner!
Audience tip: World Premiere season at Miegunyah House, 35 Jordan Terrace, Bowen Hills, QLD 4006. 8-16 May 2021 (Saturday and Sunday only, 4:30pm, 6pm and 7:30pm each day).60 minutes. 10+ Tickets $35 (includes tea and light gluten-free cakes). Mainly seated, with stairs into the venue.
The reviewer attended the Saturday 8th May 2021 world premiere performance.