New Adelaide Theatre Guide Review – autobahn

If you want theatre, go out. If you want real drama, just get in the car. This is the idea behind Pantsguys Productions’ “Autobahn”, a modern play written by Neil Labute, inspired by the emotional exchanges often held in automobiles.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
The stripped down interior of half a car (the two front seats and a steering wheel) sits centre stage, and accommodates nine actors over 80 minutes.
The show is divided into six separate conversations, all with different characters revealing different relationships and agendas. Labute’s contemporary script elicits many laughs from the audience, and accurately portrays a lot of universal feelings and circumstances. However, some segments are very similar in tone and ideas, making the production feel quite repetitious. 
The ensemble is very strong, with a high standard of acting across the board. Owen Little, Rebecca Martin, Cat Dibley, Alex Nicholas, Tim Reuban, Madeleine Jones, Paul Hooper, Megan Holloway and Alistair Wallace all give committed and commendable performances, and it is difficult to determine any stand outs.
Not only do all actors impress with their individual performances, but there is also exceptional chemistry between the cast, which is essential in a play like this which relies on relationships. In particular, Little and Martin in the first skit “Bench Seat”, and Hooper and Holloway in “Merge” are memorable for their interaction. 

Wallace’s sound design works well transitioning between scenes, and Tom Petty’s set design is simple and appropriate. Direction by Dale March is considered and apt. 

“Autobahn” has an interesting premise for a show and is executed well. Although the script is repetitive and long at times, the performance is generally very engaging. 

Emma Size. March 19, 2012