Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

The Smallest Hour

"relaxed and companionable storytellers"

Audrey review: A charming light entertainment with just enough bittersweet stirred in.

Text size
Text size
Add to favourites

The Smallest Hour

Date: 8 Dec 2018

There’s no explicit festive content in The Smallest Hour but this two-handed exercise in storytelling feels like stocking filler among the offerings in what has been an impressive 2018 for Griffin.

Think of it as a little end-of-year present.

Written and performed by Susie Youssef and Phil Spencer, it describes one late and fateful night in the lives of Shelley and Chris, brought together by chance in an Irish-themed pub.

It’s a reconnection of sorts. Shelley and Chris knew each other in high school where they were friendly though a long way short of intimate. Back in the day, the mutual attraction was zero.

Yet now, with eyes locked across a grimy stairwell, and with one wearing a police uniform, both are gripped by the feeling they are meant for each other.

But this night has a few more surprises to deliver before sunrise.

The story is related in short paragraphs – sentences sometimes – which makes this one-hour yarn feel like one spun from a “folded story” experiment or an exceptionally sympatico game of Consequences.

Youseff and Spencer are relaxed and companionable storytellers. They build a quick rapport with the audience and collapse the distance between narrator and subject to more or less nothing.

The rhythm and tempo of the piece doesn’t change much (at times the narrative baton passing becomes a little numbing) but the gentle swell of the story compensates, and the quiet score of shuffling drumbeats composed by Steve Francis generates a subtle undertow.

The Smallest Hour doesn’t need a lot in terms of staging but this production (directed by Scarlet McGlynn and designed by Tyler Hawkins) is a handsome one, with a stepped feature on stage and a light sculpture-like installation across the back wall.

A charming light entertainment with just enough bittersweet stirred in.

Take a date. You might end up holding hands.

Content
Aspects of Love
Add to favourites
ArchivedHayes Theatre Company, Potts Point, Sydney 22 Nov - 6 Jan 2019

Aspects of Love

Audrey review: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s plus-sized melodrama shrinks to fit chamber dimensions but emotional shallowness remains the show’s Achilles heel.

The Dance of Death
Add to favourites
ArchivedBelvoir, Surry Hills, Sydney 10 Nov - 23 Dec 2018

The Dance of Death

Audrey review: A dream-team combination falls disappointingly flat in Belvoir's final show of 2018.

All My Sleep and Waking
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld 505 Theatre, Newtown, Sydney 28 Nov - 22 Dec 2018

All My Sleep and Waking

Audrey review: Family members swim in unhappy circles in this pithy and surprisingly funny deathwatch drama.

See More

More to see

View All
Blak Box
Add to favourites
FestivalBlacktown Showground Precinct, Blacktown, Sydney 9 Jan - 2 Feb 2019

Blak Box

Sydney Festival: Urban Theatre Projects installs its surround-sound pavilion, Blak Box, in the heart of Western Sydney. 

Counting and Cracking
Add to favourites
TheatreSydney Town Hall, Sydney 11 Jan - 2 Feb 2019

Counting and Cracking

A timely illustration of the ways in which Australia transforms those who come here and is itself transformed.

In the Heights
Add to favourites
ArchivedSydney Opera House, Bennelong Point 16 - 20 Jan 2019

In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes' Tony-winning Broadway hit transports its audience to Washington Heights, NYC

Howie the Rookie
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo, Sydney 18 - 21 Dec 2018

Howie the Rookie

Mark O’Rowe’s monologue follows two young men racing through underworld Dublin.

Top