It’s the time of year when the annual work Christmas Party takes centre stage and invariably things happen that people tend to regret the next day.
A young scriptwriter from Melbourne has leant on his own experiences with work parties and created a hilarious new production that deals with the aftermath of such a party and is currently playing in the lead up to Christmas.
The play is called After Party and it was written and produced by Michael Thebridge, 26, an agency copywriter by day and now a budding theatre producer by night.
In the production, currently playing at the Owl and Cat Theatre in Richmond, a team of creative agency staff have arrived back at their offices with hangovers and regrets following their annual party and now have to pull themselves together to deliver a pitch to a huge new prospective client.
“I work as a copywriter at a branding agency and as part of that there’s the client parties and after a few of those and a few drunken nights out I was like ‘maybe there’s a story to tell’,” Thebridge explained to Eikon.
“I used it(his experience) as very loose inspiration, it’s certainly not a true story more a launchpad to create After Party.”
The play is set in the one meeting room. It is a one act, one scene play that folds out in real time so the audience gets the feeling they are there in the meeting room with them, like a fly on the wall.
Thebridge explained the cast comprises of three ladies and three men each with their own stories from the night before and two of the men are gay which provides some interesting fodder for Thebridge himself.
“There is definitely a gay element to it. It’s interesting writing for gay characters because you sort of feel like you don’t want to typecast, you don’t want to stereotype.
“You have a responsibility to create authentic characters that don’t just feel like the moulds that you might normally get.”
As a gay man himself, Thebridge is totally aware of the cliche gay characters and was very wary of them being portrayed correctly.
“I didn’t want it to be too cliche in any way and the actors have done a fantastic job with that as well.
“All this stuff is there but it’s not necessarily the defining traits, it’s all incidental which I think is nice.”
One of the stars of the show is New Zealand-born Jack Matthews, who Eikon interviewed back in March when he was lauded for his role in the movie Drown.
“This is a very very different piece to Drown and Jack’s character is very different,” Thebridge added.
“All the actors are all really really talented.”
After studying screenwriting and scriptwriting at University, Thebridge has only dabbled in the art since, choosing to head down the copywriting path.
“Working creatively during the week takes up a lot of your time and a lot of your creative energy.
“So this is actually the first full-length play that I’ve finished and produced and put on stage which is really exciting.
“Opening night was such a thrill, it was completely sold out which was exciting. They’ve all really enjoyed the play and had a big laugh which is cool because that’s really what I was wanting to achieve.
“It has definitely re-ignited my passion for writing these sorts of projects.”
After Party has been directed by Gabriel Savrone who runs the Owl and Cat Theatre in Richmond. This theatre is fully independent and they have put this show on, as well as many others each year, themselves with little if any funding.
They are currently running a Crowd Funding campaign to continue using the venue as a theatre and curating amazing new shows and allowing new talent to prosper just like Michael Thebridge.
After Party is the final play at the venue for 2015. It continues each night until Monday 21 December and tickets can be purchased here.
If you would like to support the Owl and Cat Theatre then visit www.gofundme.com/6yeynfec for more details.
Last Updated on Dec 16, 2015