Lust, Liquor, Burn @ NNT

A wife who had an affair with her husband’s brother, a stripper who loves her boss, a bartender who wants to be a porn star and a sleaze who lusts after his brother’s wife – Lust, Liquor, Burn is an extremely appropriate title for this production. The story follows four individuals who are all connected to an unseen character, Harry; a husband, a brother, and a boss. On the night of his birthday, Harry is shot dead, and these four individuals are all suspects.

Set in Los Angeles, California in the 1970’s, the clever combination of character, sound, and script creates a spectacle of sex, drug and rock n roll despite the lack of set to help aid the location. Directed by Bridie Rollins, this sensually stylised world that she creates is a testament to her skill. Additionally, having a talented cast of four develop a plethora of contrasting characters working slickly as an ensemble, is a rarity. Nick Jeffries as Harry’s brother, Marco; Amelia Gann as Penny the stripper; Shannon Smith as Jerry; and Lara Tysseling as Blue, Harry’s wife, each had the ability to embody their respective characters – characters that suited their style – each deserve praise in their own right as each actor delivered a strong performance.

The play is full of risky decisions

It is worth mentioning that these actors are pre-set when the audience enters and do not break character to take a bow, continuing the illusion of a 70’s club that the audience choose to remove themselves from – a decision that can be risky but works for this play. In fact, the play is full of risky decisions, particularly having the actors talk towards the audience, despite having conversations with each other, when inside the club. This style is a challenge for actors and they dealt with it accordingly, particularly when it came to then having more naturalistic interactions with each other to separate the ‘present’ from flashbacks of the past. This choice of delivery also created a great climax to the play when Penny and Blue have an argument at the same time as Marco and Jerry, which then explains the reason the all blame each other for Harry’s murder.

Lust, Liquor, Burn is an intriguing tale set against a glamorous backdrop which the audience is involved with.

The presentation of the production is slick, inventive, and outrageous. My only qualm is the use of visual aid, whilst it doesn’t hinder the production in any way, it doesn’t exactly add to it either – the production would have been just as watchable and just as understandable without it so it wasn’t necessarily needed.

Lust, Liquor, Burn is an intriguing tale set against a glamorous backdrop which the audience is involved with. The burning question that remained on everyone’s mind as they left was ‘who killed Harry?’ this question is still unanswered as each suspect has plausible intent. One slight spin-off was the implication that it was a planned murder to generate publicity and fame for the quartet. Whether this was intentional or not is unclear. But still, it is a production worth seeing.


Jessica Millott

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