Sunday 9 July 2023

Last Time review

It's late into the night when Jesse arrives at Lucas' home. They have known each other for years, so it's only natural they would meet up when they find themselves in the same city. While there is a tension that needs to be released, it still comes as a surprise to both of them when they realise what the tension between them is. Lily Hensby's Last Time is an intimate and humourous look at two people with a complicated past and a questionable future.

Lotte Beckett and Mark Yeates are thoroughly engaging as long-time friends with part-time benefits. Their rapport and interactions easily establish a history that does not need to be explained. We can understand the friendship between them, as well as the rivalry, jealousy and envy that lingers in the air, with something else that's not quite right simmering below the surface.

Hensby gives an authenticity to Jesse and Lucas with a script that permits the two performers to make this seemingly common banter feel like something deeper is taking place. There's a variety of emotions imbued with much of what they say, and they are able to do all that with some brilliant comedic flair, including depicting one of the most unsexiest sex scenes I have seen in any art form in a very long time.

Running at just under an hour, much like Jesse's visit to Lucas', the play does not overstay its welcome. Hensby provides enough revelations to keep us interested in these people's lives and intrigued as to what their motivations are. However, Hensby's script falls slightly short in allowing a full exploration of the issues and themes raised, with a number of confrontations and accusations occurring being pulled back too soon. It would have been great to allow the characters to sink their teeth into one another and see some change occur in them, to avoid a conclusion that goes out with more of a whimper than a bang.

Last Time brings to the stage a tender story between two friends who are not sure if they are each other's greatest mistake and if there is any reason to salvage what they have. We may not get an answer, and neither do our characters, but strong performances and honest dialogue result in a thoughtful and considered production.


Venue: The Motley Bauhaus, 118 Elgin St, Carlton

Season: until 15 July | Tues - Sat 8pm
Duration: 60 minutes

Tickets: $25 Full | $22 Concession
Bookings: The Motley Bauhaus

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