Two friends. Two opinions. One performance.
'Love/Hate Actually' aims to put one question to bed: When it comes to the lovers and the haters of the classic romantic comedy 'Love Actually'... Who is right?
Friends (but also maybe sworn enemies) Natalie Bochenski and Amy Currie, the stars of the show, answer some questions about it before it hits Perth's Fringe World Festival after a run in Brisbane last year.
You've both conquered Brisbane and you're now performing the show as part of Fringe World in Perth… What have you been doing to prepare?
AMY: Having performed the show fairly recently, we’ve enjoyed a bit of time off over the Christmas break to concentrate on eating leftovers, watching Netflix and getting nasty sunburns. Now, we’re back in rehearsals and crankier than ever.
NATALIE: I made a New Year’s Resolution to never watch 'Love Actually' again, and yeah, that was foolish.
We all know 'Love Actually' is a Christmas-themed film but this isn't necessarily a Christmas-themed show. Explain?
AMY: After yet another Christmas spent at loggerheads, we’re really keen to see if 'Love Actually' stands up as a rom-com without the rose-coloured glasses of the festive season. I believe it does – but that said, if I could keep my tree up all year, I would.
NATALIE: I’ve always considered 'Love Actually' more of a horror movie than a Christmas film.
Natalie… You're not a fan of this movie. What is it about 'Love Actually' that just doesn't work for you?
NATALIE: Ye gods, where to start… It’s manipulative, saccharine, unrealistic, twee, downright rude in places and FFS it has Keira Knightley in it. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has a friend like Amy, who worships it like a holy text.
On the other hand, Amy, tell us why you love this film.
AMY: Let’s be honest – it’s soppy and borderline ridiculous. But hey, so is love, and I like it anyway. It’s the ultimate feel-good movie and it always makes me cry. This film doesn’t pretend to be anything but a really well-made rom-com. If you don’t like it, you’re missing part of your soul. Yes, I mean you, Natalie.
How do you both propose you'll settle this difference of opinion?
AMY: Democracy at its finest! We’ll do our very best to present our cases for and against the greatest romantic comedy of the modern age in a big ol’ comedy showdown… But it’ll be up to the audience to decide once and for all. Our voting system is slightly more raucous than the polling booth, but if anything it’s even more effective.
NATALIE: Is it too Voldemort-y to say “Join me…or else”?
Why is 'Love/Hate Actually' a good fit for Perth Fringe World?
AMY: Fringe World’s vibrant party atmosphere is the perfect match for this irreverent debate! We’re ready to have a lot of fun, get a bit sweaty and not take ourselves too seriously.
NATALIE: Act/React performed in the 2017 Fringe World with 'Speed: The Movie, The Play'. We had amazing sell-out audiences who really responded to the way we incorporate pop culture into our performances, so we jumped at the chance to come back.
Do you have opposing views on other films or even TV shows that you'd like to cover in another future show?
AMY: While we get on very well, we both have very strong opinions on… Most things, really. This has led to many heated discussions about pop culture, so we’ve got plenty of ammo should we decide to go in for a second round! Ideally, I’d love to debate the merits of Jane Austen, but unfortunately we both agree that she is faultless. It’d probably just end up as us leering at clips of Colin Firth in a lovely pair of breeches.
NATALIE: I’m a huge fan of the 'James Bond' films, and I’d love to develop a show concept around that franchise. However, I’m not sure Amy has seen many 'Bond' films. I don’t even think she likes spies and explosions and gadgets and pithy one-liners. Typical.
What makes 'Love/Hate Actually' so great?
AMY: People seem to really enjoy our jokes, arguments and sketches…vut again and again, our Brisbane audiences responded best to our rapport with one another. It’s a show about friendship, as twee as that sounds, and it’s a delight to perform it with a dear friend.
NATALIE: This is Amy trying to make me cry. She thinks she can break me. SHE WILL NOT BREAK ME.
As an audience member, what can one expect when walking in to witness 'Love/Hate Actually'?
AMY: Expect lots of laughs, questionable wigs, Keira Knightley-related jealousy and fabulous prizes!
NATALIE: Expect neither of us to grow as people.