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Have you ever had a conversation with a stranger that was far more personal than you expected?
One that made you feel less alone? Was there a connection there that you hadn’t expected? Maybe it was in line for the bathroom on a night out. Perhaps it was someone on your table at a wedding, or a kind stranger who saw you upset and offered a tissue.
There’s something about deep yet fleeting conversations with strangers that can foster a sense of intimacy unlike any other – and that can encourage you to share more than you’d ever expect.
It’s these unique, short-lived connections that Ranters Theatre explore in their play, Intimacy, which will come to The Street Theatre from 23-27 August.
“Personally, I find that often I can have the most intimate or personal or candid exchanges with strangers,” says lead actress and co-writer of Intimacy, Beth Buchanan. “I love that.”
“That human connection means a lot and it can make a huge impact on you. You can have such a small exchange with someone but it makes you feel completely connected to the rest of the world.”
Intimacy came together in a suitably unique way when Director Adriano Cortese left his inner Melbourne apartment, walked down the street and began to introduce himself to strangers, thus beginning “a night filled with intense personal dialogue and shared intimacy.”
Adriano then brought his experience to Ranters where his team began to piece together their own experiences with strangers into a four-act play.
Beth explains that exploring the marriage of improvisation with real-life experience created a unique atmosphere for their stage.
“We didn’t ‘sit down and write’ anything – most of it came out of improvisations we did over a period of time.”
“It started with the premise of Adriano…getting strangers to come up to the apartment and talking to them. We used personal stories [and] other people’s stories that we’d heard.”
I tell Beth it’s funny that the creation of Intimacy sounds like the exact opposite of the classic showbiz disclaimer: ‘The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental’. But if you’ve ever had a conversation with a man on a Melbourne street and are now worrying that your story has made its way onto the stage, you needn’t fear. Beth reassures me that there aren’t any details of Adriano’s actual night in the play.
She explains that while Intimacy might have roots in real life experience, the fun of its creation came from “pushing” it in the direction they wanted it to go, creating an exciting fictional landscape from small kernels of real life.
“A sleepless few nights might turn into…a character who never sleeps well and can go for a week without having any sleep,” she explains. “Things get exaggerated.”
If you’ve always been fascinated by the fleeting connection of strangers in our bustling world, tickets are on sale now for you to experience true Intimacy at The Street.
When: 23-26 August from 7.30pm each night, with a matinee at 4pm on Sunday 27 August
Where: The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, City West
Tickets: From $29. Purchase them here.
More information: thestreet.org.au/shows/intimacy
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