When entering The Living Room, you notice someone in a comically large hoop skirt, reading and reviewing calculator tape and making notches up on a chalk board. Then, suddenly, with a phone call, another member appears and the two get to work.
The show stars Gemma Soldati and Amrita Dhaliwal, who appear to be accountants of death. They take the first few minutes of the performance to handle some housekeeping. The pair reposition the crowd to their liking and make great effort to ensure everyone knows the rules of staying in the living room. Soldati and Dhaliwal have natural wit, and their ability to think on the fly and incorporate cues given to them by the crowd in these first few minutes set the tone for the rest of the show.
The show moves along for the next approximately 35 minutes showcasing the pair’s classic clowning ability and creative gags aided by interaction withe the audience. Suddenly, the show takes a more serious turn as what seems like hundreds of phones begin to ring. The pair dart across the room, answering calls and marking deaths. Although you’ve spent the first half of this show laughing at the ridiculousness of the two, without warning, this happy-go-lucky clowning show has morphed into a poignant piece on remembering those that have died. Whilst difficult to accomplish, the pair tiptoe around serious and absurd well, and skillfully ease the audience back to a less somber mood.
The hour-long performance relies heavily on audience interaction. However for those immediately turned off by this, it thankfully does not seek to embarrass, but rather to create a more authentic and immersive environment. The central theme of the show revolves around death, and its inevitability, thus we all share at least one thing. Therefore it actually seems necessary to develop this bond between the performances and the audience. Moreover, the hilarious clowning skills of the pair overshadow any nervousness by an unwilling participant. Soldati and Dhaliwal provide an hour that serves as a prime example of the epitome of fringe shows, meshing perfectly several emotions and providing the audience with a one-of-a-kind experience.