Paris, comparison and middle-class crime – Queensland Theatre debuts razor-sharp comedy L’Appartement
There’s an old saying about comparison being the thief of joy, and it seems that expression has never been more accurate than in our current age of social media. Even the most confident amongst us would struggle to be immune to the jealousy pangs that occur when you come across someone so achingly cool/smart/successful that they make you feel like a total dud in comparison – it’s just how we’re wired. Joanna Murray-Smith has turned this age-old predicament into a razor-sharp comedy for Queensland Theatre, debuting L’Appartement at QPAC from August 3.
L’Appartement is based around the story of Australian couple Rooster and Meg, who have finally taken themselves on the honeymoon of their dreams now that their twins have hit toddler status. The pair arrives at their chic Parisian Airbnb to find that it resembles a painstakingly curated minimalist art gallery more than an actual home – and that’s just the beginning. Their hosts Serge and Lea are the embodiment of European cool – from their style to their careers, the duo sets Rooster and Meg into an inadequacy spiral that is impossible to weather. Tensions swell even further when a mysterious (and rather large) artefact is delivered to the apartment, throwing up questions about Meg and Rooster’s position on the sliding scale of privilege, entitlement and cultural currency.
Despite L’Appartement being her directorial debut, writer Joanna Murray-Smith is far from a stranger to the theatre world. Her celebrated work as a playwright, screenwriter and novelist has formed the perfect foundation for this whip-smart piece of work – which was inspired by her own three-month holiday in Paris with her daughter. Joanna’s cast – Liz Buchanan as Meg, Andrew Buchanan as Rooster, Pacharo Mzembe as Serge and Melanie Zanetti as Lea – slotted effortlessly into their roles, with their decades of combined experience on Australian stages making them the perfect ensemble. When you add the genius of Helpmann, Green Room and Matilda Award-winning and Tony-nominated designer, Dale Ferguson to the mix, you know it’s going to be one hell of a production.
Want to indulge in some good old-fashioned class envy? L’Appartement is running at QPAC from August 3–31 – snap up your tickets here.