shake & stir theatre company will shake things up this month when 'Fourthcoming' hits Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Starring 'Married At First Sight' ('MAFS') alumni Johnny Balbuziente, 'Fourthcoming' is a brand-new, interactive romantic comedy production where Gwen (played by Cece Peters of 'True Story With Hamish & Andy' and 'The Wrong Girl') is keen to break the cycle of bad relationship luck. She heads out on four first dates, with one explosive goal in mind.
Johnny Balbuziente is set to play the role of all four love interests, but it's the audience who have a very important job to do – weighing in on who Gwen should keep around, or give the boot.
The format and direction of the show is fresh for shake & stir – known for productions like 'A Christmas Carol', 'Animal Farm', 'Fantastic Mr Fox' and 'Jane Eyre'.
Here, we chat to Johnny Balbuziente about the what to expect. Tell us a bit about ‘Fourthcoming’.
This is wild new type of theatre! Buckle in - 'Fourthcoming' is a choose-your-own-adventure romantic comedy, every performance will be different! Our audiences will be voting in real time for what our characters decide to do, every step of the way. Ultimately, they will even vote for the ending. . . Will it be happily ever after or a train-wreck? They won't know the outcomes, they will have to trust their guts. . . We are calling it 'reality theatre' – it's adrenaline pumping, that's for sure. Who is the ideal audience for a performance like this?
Riddle me this. . .
A) Do you love rom-coms?
B ) Do you love choose-your-own-adventure stories?
C) Do you love date nights at the theatre?
D) Do you love all of the above?
If you answer A, B, C or D – you are the ideal audience and you will love this show. There has been so much heaviness in the world over the last few years – this is a show to kick back and have FUN!
Cece Peters as Gwen
How will the audience’s input affect the way the show plays out?
Our audience will play the role of best friend to our main character Gwen – played by the freakin' hilarious Cece Peters. So, they will be voting on some big (and trivial) decisions throughout her whole journey. Whatever is the most voted option will then happen on stage. Does she ghost or settle in? Does she order a marg or a soda water? Does she kiss him or diss him? Needless to say, rehearsing all of the optional scripts can get confusing. . . But we will get there! And why do you think the concept of this show will be effective?
How often do we watch a movie or a TV show with a phone in one hand and a drink in the other? Yep, now you can do it in the theatre. Don't get me wrong – I love the traditional passive form of theatre too – but here's a rare chance to interact and control the action in a hilarious romantic comedy – I'd be there! What are you most looking forward to about being involved in ‘Fourthcoming’?
The unpredictability is exciting. Literally every show will be different! The tech and the design is epic too – Nelle Lee and Nick Skubij (Co-Directors) have created a beast of a show – not going to give away any spoilers but it's safe to say the scale of the design and tech will blow minds!
You’re set to play four different love interests. For you, what’s the biggest challenge regarding taking on something like that?
The costume changes! Jokes. But they are super-fast! Nelle Lee has written four very distinct characters – they are all complex, charismatic, loveable, flawed. Not going to lie – it's a big challenge but I feel lucky that I get to play four guys. . . Which one will be the lucky guy that ends up with Gwen. . .? I want them all to succeed! You were on ‘MAFS’!!! Sum up the experience for us.
How long have we got?! Hahaha. Firstly, right up – it was the best, I met Kerry and I couldn't be happier! It was proper hectic though – long, exhausting hours, big personalities, lots of challenges but ultimately an amazing experience. It's crazy to think that this time last year I was prepping for that show, now I'm prepping for this show. . . What are you going to bring from your time on ‘MAFS’ into the show?
'MAFS' is billed as 'the most controversial social experiment on Australian TV' where my marriage was arranged by the Experts (thankfully they nailed it for Kegz and I). In 'Fourthcoming' our audience take on the Experts role – they will dictate the matches and challenge us throughout the journey. Bring it on. Again. 'Fourthcoming' plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre 23 October-7 November.