Ten Months in a Cold Town – SNAFU Theatre
A sinister, well-crafted play about spies, seduction and winter's chill.
SNAFU Theatre’s new production, by May Jasper and Sam Wilson, is a snappy psychological drama set some place that isn’t Australia where clapping in public is an arrestable offence. Spy #1, played by the sensational Samantha Hill, has been working undercover there for three years. Whatever manner of operation she’s undertaking, her cover is working and seemingly allows her enough time for trivia night. All this is disrupted when she stumbles home one night to find a stranger rummaging through her kitchen. He says he’s from her agency – but he's a spy too, can he be trusted?
Ten months sounds a lot like a penitentiary term and it would appear to be how long how long Spy #2, played by newcomer James Gand-Hunt, has been assigned to stay in this cold town. The problem with being undercover is there’s nobody you can really trust, nobody you can readily share your Weetbix with. The cagey dialogue that takes place between the two spies as he tries to discover where confidential documents are hidden and she skilfully deflects his questions is tightly scripted and thoroughly intriguing. There’s a neat juxtaposition between Spy #1’s love of trivial pursuits and Spy #2’s increasing desperation to make for the hills. The suspense is effectively amped up a notch when a mysterious fax arrives and a lonely Russian neighbour comes calling.
Ten Months in a Cold Town explores the dangers of feeling trapped and the potential fallout when Seduction Technique 101 fails. It’s kind of similar to a game of Jenga, where players take turns to remove and restack a block from a tower, creating a taller and increasingly unstable structure until the whole tower topples and wham! Game over.
Image via SNAFU Theatre
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