Life in the office can be a brutal existence

THE office is real, and so too are the range of emotions Bello Benischauer and Elisabeth Eitelberger unleash in their experimental play First Things First.

Four colleagues (played by Eitelberger and fellow actors Helah Milroy, Ross Hamilton and Jemma Fleming) share office space, and over time reveal their personal stories and traumas.

Fear, shame, stigma, loneliness, loss and hope come to play, as memories stuck in the subconscious are raised.

“[The play] digs deep into the human psyche. There are a lot of things going on inside [all of us], a lot we are not aware of ourselves,” Eitelberger says.

•Jemma Fleming, Ross Hamilton, Helah Milroy and Elisabeth Eitelberger.


Known for its expressively driven style the couple’s Existence Theatre tears down the fourth wall of conventional theatre as the audience becomes part of the performance.

“People are sitting at the table where the action happens,” Benischauer says.

“We touch people, sit on their lap,” Eitelberger adds.

The audience is part voyeur, part ally as the curtain of office politics and professional veneers are stripped away.

There’s an after show vegan meal, and the chance for the audience to discuss what just happened, says Benischauer.

It runs July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at UDLA, level 1A, 3 Josephson Street, Fremantle (corner Point Street).

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