This Fringe season Greg Fleet and Ian Darling use their personal experiences, friendship and memories to explore the complexities of life in the world premiere of The Twins. (Image Source: Ian Darling/Twitter)

By Eva Blandis | @BlandisEva

Shark Island Institute and The Arts Lab Kangaroo Valley’s The Twins is a witty and emotional play encompassing the importance of friendship through life’s ups and downs. Old school friends Greg Fleet and Ian Darling take the stage as themselves to tell their stories and it is truer than fiction. As the pair start rehearsing their reworked version of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, the audience is privy to a conversation, between two old school mates, about how their lives have changed since they first played the twins in the same play forty years prior.

The minimal set and props allow for a greater focus on the well-written and humorous script. Darling and Fleet’s unwavering performance strength and relatable dialogue draws the audience in, making them feel part of an important conversation about why we turn out the way we do. Undoubtedly, their lifelong friendship creates a natural conversation making you forget you are watching a play. Fleet and Darling sporadically break the fourth wall, by performing monologues to the audience, creating a dinner party-like experience.

Directors Terry Serio and Sarah Butler take advantage of lighting and sound to show lapses in time and draw focus to different parts of the stage. The genius use of music doubtlessly creates nostalgia for all those in the audience who were finding their way during the 70s and 80s. The references to what life was like forty years ago may be lost on the younger audience members, but the relatable manner in which the script is performed draws them in nonetheless.

The strong comedy element in The Twins does not take away from the serious discussions of father-son relationships, white privilege, drug abuse and following your dreams. Even without prior knowledge of the production, it soon becomes evident that the pair are recounting real-life experiences. The bravery and willingness of Fleet and Darling sharing their stories on stage does not go unnoticed and further results in the audience appreciating the performance.

Fleet and Darling’s outstanding performance of a witty yet profound script promises 90 minutes of laughter, reflection and pure entertainment. The natural chemistry between the two allows room for appreciation of the stories being shared. Both Fleet and Darling are having the time of their lives on stage, adding to the audiences’ enjoyment and amusement. The Twins truly encompasses the importance of old school friendships, their everlasting nature and the importance of following your dreams.

The Twins is playing at Holden Street Theatres until March 21 2021.