I truly believe Fangirls has the potential to play on a Broadway stage one day, and hope it continues to grow and improve with each iteration. Fangirls is a joyful, hilarious show that demonstrates an incisive understanding of contemporary fandom culture in the internet age, and I can’t wait to see it staged again.
Tongue Tied is an incisive representation of a media culture that often prioritises publishing ‘scandalous’ news over the wellbeing of victims (see: the EJ Norvill Geoffrey Rush case).
I loved the contemporary and urgent subject matter of the play, and it made me think deeply about the many real-world examples that parallel the events of the play.
I left the theatre unsure of what I was supposed to get out of The Dazzle.
Maybe this is a simple matter of personal taste, and maybe I’m just not amenable to Greenberg’s style, but this production didn’t click for me.
I struggle with writing reviews of plays I don’t like, especially when those plays are created by indie companies because I know how hard it is to be an indie artist, and I know how much love is poured into these productions. However, I can’t pretend to be objective as a reviewer, I can only interpret and critique art by drawing on my own experiences and tastes.
The Italians is a farce that thrives on chaos and silliness. It’s not the most coherent script, but that haphazard quality is what makes it so charming.
The Italians has the energy of a university revue or high school play. It doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but everyone’s having so much fun that you don’t really care.
These monologues successfully captured the feeling of being 17, with all the angst and humour and romance that comes with it. These young writers are ambitious and in-tune with the concerns of their peers. The topics explored included young queer love, the pressures of high school, grappling with grief as a teenager, and young women’s relationships to their mothers.
“I saw a lot of media that paraded around this expected idea of youth that was fun and good and rebellious, but in my life, I wasn’t having that… When I was coming out of high school, I was like “this sucked, and all of the media about it said it wouldn’t suck”. I was disappointed, and I wanted to write something that tells you the truth—that the teenage dream is such a lie!”
As a political commentary about how some of society’s most important and hard-working individuals—teachers—are systematically undervalued and overlooked, Chalkface succeeds. However, as a comedy—which the play is marketed as—Chalkface is a disappointment.
Looking for Alibrandi is a thoughtful depiction of a teenage girl torn between cultural identities, and a moving tale of mothers and daughters. Ultimately, I was disappointed by the director and designer’s use of the Belvoir space. While the production lacked the warmth of the original writing, the funny, loving lead performances of Macri and Mastrantone are a joy to watch, and it is well worth seeing.
The script is not subtle in its moralising about facts versus art, but it is effective. STC’s marketing evoked Aaron Sorkin, which is an apt comparison. Jim is agonisingly pedantic about the facts, and John is a pretentious egotist. Neither of them are fully likeable, and neither are 100% right or wrong— the writers let you decide where you fall. Jim and John’s battle is the clash of pragmatism and high-mindedness, a battle against what is correct, and what is dramatically compelling.
Birch’s script is complex, ambitious, and tightly constructed. For almost all of the play, these three women and their stories of motherhood exist on stage simultaneously, defying realism in favour of compelling and abstract storytelling. Birch boldly raises big questions about fate, mental illness and intergenerational trauma.
“MY INTERVENTION is basically a mini-musical where we are going through all of the reasons why I’m “fucked up” and why I deserve to have an intervention.
And it’s about mental health and your own neuroses and ego and narcissism, but it’s in a funny way, in a cute way.”
“To me, improv feels a lot like when you’re a kid and you’re playing with your sibling or your friends, and you’re like “Okay, I’ll be the witch and you be the princess.” And then you play for two hours just off that. It feels like grow-up make believe.”