Review: Coffee Bean-Queen Machine
Paja Neuhoferova wears a blue floral pattern full skirt, a short navy jacket with the blue floral fabric on the front, a headband with small flowers. As we arrive she is sitting on the counter. The accordion she plays is a deep glossy red. It sounds jaunty. Eighteen of us are tightly packed in to Coffix on Ballance street. Daniel Dvoracek ventures around the seating taking coffee orders. Most of us order something. It’s much like a busy coffee shop on a Monday morning.
The accordion slows down. Dvoracek takes a seat to the side. He’s providing live music. A wooden flute, a ukulele, and a mouth harp are only three of the instruments he uses. The cafe lights go out. The white glow from the milk fridge illuminates the counter. Neuhoferova reappears with a giant inflatable globe and the show proper starts.
It’s delightful and quirky. Tiny puppets act out the story which is based on her life. Coffee shop staples – takeaway cups, cupholders etc – are pressed into service to help create the settings. There are some beautifully clever moments which charm us. I’m sitting at the back of the audience which means I can’t always see. I notice the sounds. There are shouts of laughter. The occasional woosh-BANG of the wind coming in the front door. A low rumble from the air-conditioning unit. The puppets disappear and we are now in the real world of the coffee shop. Takeaway cups are cups again. Familiar sentences are exchanged. Hello. How was your weekend. Flat White. Two sugars. The scene becomes a dance piece. Neuhoferova disappears. Then she reappears and the coffee shop day starts again.
- Coffee Bean-Queen Machine on various nights at Coffix (7 Ballance St) to 21 March 2019, as part of the NZ Fringe Festival