Detroit is a play about the decay of the suburban dream. Ben and Mary live in a nondescript suburb. They are ordinary. Take pride in their home but like their own lives it has its flaws - a patio door that sticks and a garden umbrella that collapses randomly.
Ben (Stuart McQuarrie) has been made redundant and is setting up his own business and website and is always on his first drink when Mary (Justine Mitchell) gets home from her paralegal job. Mary resents the fact that Ben is already drinking when she gets home and is frustrated by the speed of progress with Ben's business start up. She too likes a drink when she gets home.
When a young couple move into the tatty house that backs onto theirs, a neighbourly friendship begins. Sharon (Clare Dunne) and Kenny (Will Adamsdale) have been moving from place to place and have just come out of rehab for drug addiction. Their new found take on life is attractive to Ben and Mary.
Sharon and Kenny see the neighbourhood in a different light. They notice the woman jogging past every day and wave whereas Ben and Mary never have. They seem to like the stability - and not being shunned.
As the friendship blossoms suburban ideals are challenged and the frayed edges begin to appear. There is an underlying tension: Will Sharon and Kenny fall off the wagon, will Ben and Mary's relationship withstand their own drinking and will Ben ever finish his website?
"Should Sharon be drinking that?"
"A beer is fine, freebasing heroin was her problem"
It is a destructive friendship but not quite in the way that you think and I liked that.
Detroit is at times funny - there are some great lines from Ben about his impression of the English - and quite sad. It is really well acted and imaginatively staged - I certainly haven't seen them do that in the Cottesloe before (not going to spoilt it).
The party scene did feel like it went on too long, it was exhausting just watching the actors jumping around to music. The final scene too did feel a little long for such a dramatic change of pace.
Ultimately it is a difficult play to sum up. I thoroughly enjoyed it at the time but the play itself is quickly fading from memory. What will stick in my mind when I'm looking back at the end of the year is that staging. I'm going to give it four stars.
Detroit runs at the Cottesloe in rep until July 14.
Quite pleased with this one because I don't think I've used this film of Mr W's before but Will Adamsdale was in Stoned. And one I have used before, Nathan Barley, which Stuart McQuarrie appeared in.