You may have noticed that Sydney isn't a particularly edifying place to live right now. House prices are breaking the stratosphere's personal space boundaries and rent's basically a synonym for extortion. The unspoken objections of parents to their adult children returning home hang heavy in the air. Accusations of tightfistedness and poor work ethic are being thrown thick and fast across the generations. All the while, homeless rates and hulking property developments are on the rise.
Into this arena (and Griffin Theatre) comes Brooke Robinson's Good Cook. Friendly. Clean. Directed by Marion Potts, the play is a black comedy about the casualties of a war fought using only smashed avocado and Twitter.
When her housemates decide to replace her with one of their friends, Sandra (Tara Morice) is given two weeks to run the gruelling gauntlet of the share house interview process. Sandra's pretty normal — a good potential housemate. But she's also 58, with an illness that's starting to catch up with her. As the deadline approaches, Sandra commits to increasingly desperate measures to convince a series of couples (Fayssal Bazzi and Kelly Paterniti) that she's the right fit for their abode/pad/studio.
In an interview about the work, Robinson points to the old maxim that we're all only three bad life decisions away from homelessness. With the last census showing homelessness in NSW has increased by more than thirty percent since 2011 (and more than 70 percent in Sydney), even that wiggle room seems to be disappearing.
Good Cook. Friendly. Clean. may be billed as a black comedy, but as Sandra's options begin to dry up, so too do the laughs. With a runtime of 75 minutes, the fall is short and sharp. Griffin describes it as funny. Until it's not.
Good Cook. Friendly. Clean. runs until Saturday, June 16. Tickets can be purchased here and start from just $38 (for under-35's).