Snore: perhaps the saddest incarnation of a student’s graduate life. Written by Max Posner, Snore is a narrative surrounding a closely-knit friendship circle, told over the course of six birthdays. Posner universalises the student experience, such that one might find themselves observing that the friendship dynamic is not at all dissimilar to ones found daily in St Andrews, and therein lies the play’s tragic genius. The audience finds themselves watching, in vain, as the glimmering optimism and hope of the naïve, coddled student collapses, unfurling into frustration, mediocrity and unachieved dreams. The saddest indictment for all students. This is, simply put, a generational play: The demise of the Millennial dream. And I cannot help but make the affected, but supremely unimaginative observation that this is Friends for the depressed.
Director, Martin Caforio, executed the play well, capturing Posner’s vision of a superbly contradictory mix of claustrophobia, intimacy, chaos and warmth. The sets were imaginatively redrawn for every scene, rendering each one delightfully unique – made all the better by Caforio’s unconventional use of the St.Age, utilising floor space as well as the stage. However, this commitment to design came at a cost: the transitions were much too long which unfortunately had the effect of inhibiting the narrative’s natural flow and rising tension. Nonetheless, Caforio’s directing acumen was proved through the play’s ease in conveying Posner’s dramatic vision. Indeed, Caforio’s success as director was such that I truly believed I was peering through the window into the actual lives of these friends.
Nina (Martina Sardelli) and Tom (Jack Detwiler) are the idyllic couple, fresh from college. Tom’s an immigration lawyer, with haughty aspirations to protect vulnerable immigrants; Nina is his seemingly perfect partner. But upon discovering Tom’s medical ailment, an obnoxious snore (hence the name), other irritating traits and incompatibilities are brought to the fore, eventuating in the relationship’s demise as university idealism turns to pessimism. Both actors do well to navigate the play sensitively toward its sad conclusion, where Tom laments what could have been. Attention must be given also to Hank (George Watts), an older gentleman who works in I.T; he is thoroughly average and has, we are given the impression, spent his life being trodden all over. Not only was George Watts’ portrayal convincing, conveying his character’s older age through his awkward delivery, but was also a clear audience favourite, invoking many laughs.
Likewise, the evocations of Deb (Alexandra Flag); Mia (Issy Sheridon); Abe (Morgan Corby); Elise (Ana Julia Ferreira); Allie (Ella Dao), and Diane (Grace Thorner) contributed a charming and loveable, yet cantankerous ensemble. Such talented acting enabled Posner’s apartment to be entertainingly realised; each person rendering their characters in meaningful and unique ways – be it Abe’s drunk-induced rant over quitting his job, Diane’s ill-considered comments or Mia’s struggle for love. Each and every one, in their depiction of such characters, had something splendid to offer. Indeed, it was, ultimately, the ensemble that made this play a success, and despite niggles with the set and timings, I earnestly commend the production, and look eagerly forward to Caforio’s future directing endeavours.