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  • Writer's pictureAlex First

Daniel Kitson Collaborator - 70 minutes

Have you ever wanted to be an actor or voice over talent?

 

Well, here’s your chance, although Daniel Kitson would hate me for saying so because he makes his view of actors clear in the show (or is it really his view?).

 

The British comedian has written an off the wall script, in which he argues with and provokes the audience, all of whom play a part in the shenanigans.

 

Laughter abounds.

 

There are 169 speaking parts in the 46 pages and each patron gets a copy of the material (which you leave behind as you exit).

 

You can choose a speaking role, which might run from a single word to a series of sentences, exclamations or pronouncements, or a non-speaking part.

 

If you choose the latter, you are still invited to engage in a bout or two of booing at various junctures.

 

Each A4 sized hard copy script is numbered and a tab dictates the start of a random role you are asked to play, should you so choose.

 

Your narrative is then highlighted in yellow and a red dot marks the end of your part.

 

Easy and straightforward.

 

The beauty of the writing is that it speaks to the lead up to … who knows what (we never get there).

 

It sets out the rules of engagement and invites challengers, of which there are plenty, so whatever the show proper could have been remains a mystery.

 

Of course, that is the whole point: the interjections and retorts are the show.

 

You are interacting with Daniel throughout the entirety of the extended reading and, naturally, his verbiage is the densest and the most pointed.

 

In fact, one lucky audience member, known as Keith, also has a large part to play, verbally jousting with Daniel regularly.

 

Daniel is forever defending his territory … sometimes forcefully and always physically expressive.

 

The script is very funny and extremely clever. Collaborator was written to be performed in the round and is tweaked from one venue to another.

 

It contains directions for participants e.g. “sarcastic” or “raises hand”.

 

So, everything is laid out on a platter, but then there’s some ad libbing, which generates even more amusement.

 

Part of the joy is in the contrarian position Daniel has built into the prose, which makes it clear he is not a fan of audience participation, plays or stand-up comedy.

 

There is a great deal of fun to be had over an hour and 10 minutes, in which he is effectively using us to have an argument with himself.

 

Young and old alike quickly get into the rhythm of the work and the smiles on faces throughout speaks volumes.

 

Daniel Kitson is a thespian and an agitator and don’t we just love him for it!

 

Daniel Kitson Collaborator is on at The Lawler, Southbank Theatre until 23rd June, 2024 as part of the RISING Festival.

 

For more information and to book tickets, go to https://2024.rising.melbourne

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