11 September 2011

Review: Tell them it rained too hard

Tell them that it rained too hard
Attic Erratic
2 September 2011
Studio Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park
to 10 September

While Platform Youth are confronting the perception of teenage sluts in Tenderness, independent company Attic Erratic give a very different 20-something view of the slut-or-virgin paradigm in Tell them that it rained too hard.

Tom Pitts wrote the text and music for this piece. The highlight of the night is how beautifully the music works with the text and how Pitts and director Celeste Cody use the combination of text and music to create the mood and move the drama of story.

But the text suffers from overwriting and seems caught up with telling us the sexual issues we should be thinking about, rather than showing us the stories of these characters, who never seem free to really tell us what's going on in their hearts.

As each generation discovers sex, they tend to act like no one did it before them. (I know I did.) This work claims to boldly explore the "contentious" and "still divisive" issues of sexuality, promiscuity and monogamy. It begins with a dream about harlots and a lecture about the free love of the 60s and how it people can't have an uncomplicated shag. But it doesn't go on to address issues of sexuality, promiscuity or monogamy.

I left thinking that the politics and outlook underpinning this world are just so straight. Straight as in heterosexual, straight as in conservative and straight as in as vanilla as cheap, white home-brand ice cream.

The promiscuous chick dresses like a Grey St hooker and has sex with two (!) men, while her best friend risks her nice safe marriage by having a pash with an ex. This may be a typicailish 20ish story, but it would be a far better story if it wasn't claiming to be unflinching and bold. If you're going to look at the issues around being a slut (a word that is slowly being re-claimed as a positive and empowering word) and how you can enjoy a fuck because it's fun, please at least glance at promiscuity (that's a LOT of partners) and the alternatives to monogamy that many people joyfully embrace.

Tell them that it rained too hard didn't speak to me, but it's driven by a cast whose honesty and passion for the story reminded me that it is reflection of the their world and it will speak loudly and strongly to others.

This review originally appeared on AussieTheatre.com

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