by Thirzah White
The stage lights were turned on for newcomer Monica Zanetti and her carefully chosen cast during this year’s Sydney Fringe Festival. She described herself as “trying to be a writer, director and actor”. She should cast aside any doubt having excelled in all three with her first play ‘Still Seeking Other’ which premiered at the King Theatre in Newtown.
‘Still Seeking Other’, which sold out all four shows, was packed beyond capacity on a very wet opening night. Latecomers were happy to sit on the floor and stairs in order to be part of Ms Zanetti’s debut of laughter and the odd tear.
There was no denying the cast members were a very handsome bunch. Each sat behind a single table draped in a white tablecloth. Spotlights perched on the tables flicked on and off, signifying the moment for each to engage with the audience and offer their troubled relationship tales. The constant stream of hilarious one-liners was matched by a flow of infectious laughter from the audience.
With their hearts on their sleeves, the characters’ believable tales made the audience want to hop onto the stage and join in their conversations.
For just over a year, Ms Zanetti worked on the play, originally written as a short film for one person, which grew into an ensemble piece for eight characters. She says, “we are constantly making changes to serve the story better”. Asked to describe the play in five words, she says, “Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, perfectly adequate”.
Monica Zanetti studied at The Actors Pulse in Redfern, where she met most of her cast members. She describes them as the most generous and intelligent group of actors, adding, “They’re insanely good looking! Seriously if you are looking for some eye candy, come to my show”.
Ms Zanetti has set up her own production company called First Feet Ventures and is currently working on a feature film.