28 September 2017 (released)
03 October 2017
It’s not easy being a smart millennial with high expectations. Gin For Breakfast, Jess Moore’s debut play, directed by Ryan Gage, is rich with sharp dialogue and a fantastic vehicle for actors, Tristan Beint and Jessica Guise. Brought to the Tristan Bates box theatre through crowd funding, Moore conceived of the play as a space to explore mental health issues and has come up with two entirely convincing characters whose laughter and drunken rants keep the darkness at bay.
Childhood friends, Jen and Robbie are turning thirty and their dreams seem to be crashing down around them. Robbie (Tristan Beint) is usually drunk but deadly serious about his socialist leanings and ambition to be a folk legend. His sardonic rants, delivered at a invigorating pace, fool Jen (Jessica Guise) into thinking he’s OK. Whenever they meet, she’s quite open about her despair with ‘boys’ and being stuck in a corporate law firm when she dreamt of saving the world. ‘Nobody tells you how bloody hard it is just to get a job and a mortgage.’
Fundamental to the success of the play is the warmth that Beint and Guise bring to the relationship, adding a light touch to the serious themes. It’s not a new point but an important one that people show their pain in different ways and however close we are to someone suffering from depression, we rarely grasp the depths they may have reached.
The two hander is elegantly lit by Christopher Nairne and Erica Hemminger's set is a stylish creation in wood, with interlocking empty wooden frames and a swing hinting at childhood and ‘special’ days that never live up to expectations. Gin for Breakfast is an extremely watchable debut and it’ll be interesting to see what new theatre company, ‘Whatever Guise productions’ bring next…