ONE BEDROOM AVAILABLE IN SUPER SUNNY FLAT… - Reviewed by Alessia Belsito-Riera | Regional News Connecting Wellington


Written by: Jackson Burling and Hannah Doogan

Directed by: Jackson Burling

Inverlochy Art School, 18th Feb 2024

Reviewed by: Alessia Belsito-Riera

If your pillow is mouldy, your flat is draughty, your windows are swollen shut, and your landlord has ignored your email requests to fix something but has always been punctual for an inspection then fear not, ONE BEDROOM AVAILABLE IN SUPER SUNNY CENTRAL WELLINGTON FLAT $260 PER WEEK EXCLUDING EXPENSES has all the bells and whistles. This is a New Zealand Fringe Festival show for the Kiwi tenant and an urgent call to action.

Both relatable and cathartic, this political comedy musical is just as chaotic, uncomfortable, and surprising as renting in Aotearoa. When I turned up at Riley (Monet Wiljo Faifai-Collins) and Leo’s (Rachel McSweeney) ‘flat viewing’ I was as confused as they were. “Were you told 3pm or 3:30pm?” Leo asks me before she continues vacuuming the worn, stained, and warped ‘character’ floorboards.

Based on real-life experiences from some of New Zealand’s 1.4 million renters and set in an actual (former) flat, the show follows Leo and Riley’s quest to find a fifth flatmate. DJ Stan (Charleigh Griffiths) is staying on and there’s that Aussie bloke Seamus (director Jackson Burling) from the online viewing arriving tomorrow, Leo assures us, her prospective flatmates. Two hopefuls single themselves out from the crowd, over-zealous Eden Right (producer Hannah Doogan) who lives at home and a cool, nonchalant, loner called Mac (musical director Adriana Calabrese) who has lived in over 20 crappy flats.

As the viewing chugs forward, problems with the property continuously arise – but it’s the best you’ll get for this price and location! DJ Stan intermittently dims the lights, turns up the gobos, and plays a tune right on queue. Singing reimagined versions of Kiwi classics, this vocally blessed cast gives us bangers the likes of One Week in a Leaky Flat, Slice of Average, and Why Do Flat Viewings Do This To Me.

This show is an indictment of NZ’s rental crisis and habitability standards. Filled with funny shenanigans, the ending voiceover delivering facts and data pulls it all together, transforming a cheeky and relatable Fringe show into an exposé demanding change.

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