FRINGEWORLD 2017 – Rather Than Later (4.5 stars)

Have you ever listened to an elderly person speak? I mean really listen? Because every person who frustrates you by standing in the middle of the supermarket aisle with their walker, or crawled along in front of you in the street, or took forever counting their coins in front of you at the bank because they prefer to deal with real money, has a story. They have lived lives that lasted longer than most of us have been on earth. A collaboration between Improve Silence and Juniper Aged Care, Rather Than Later takes those stories and tells them again.

First up, let’s get this in context: the show is presented by kids (well, young people all in their very early 20s) who volunteered at Juniper Aged Care and decided to interview their clients to get their stories. What they didn’t expect was to develop the deep friendships and obvious respect they did. These kids are special because they value the insight and stories the elderly residents share with them. They cross decades-long boundaries and create intense bonds.

Opening with young Luke Binetti giving us a lesson in lawn bowls with the inflection and mannerisms of one of the interviewees, you realise this is going to be a special show. Binetti, and all of the actors, render the character as just that: a character. There is no hunching over ridiculously, drawing the lips over teeth and warbling in a hideous caricature that is all too common in an impression of an old person. No, Binetti really imitates the genteman’s mannerisms and voice – to the point that later on upon hearing a recording of the real man, we all know who he is.

Heart-felt and beautiful, Rather Than Later cleverly breaks down the barriers between generations, and highlights the similarities rather than their differences. Covering topics of love and loss, letter writing and embroidery, music and even politics, it shows that while the world may have changed, the people in it are still the same.


When: 24th – 28th January 2017 | 6:30pm

Where: The Blue Room Theatre | Fringe Central | PERTH

Tickets: $21

Info: Duration 55 minutes | WA Artist | Suitable for all ages – literally!