18 May 2013

Mini review: One For The Ugly Girls

One For The Ugly Girls
La Mama
12 May 2013
La Mama Theatre and ONFG
to 19 May

This production of One For The Ugly Girls was a must-see at the Adelaide Fringe this year and has already added an extra show for its La Mama season. Ring La Mama now (9347 6142) to see if you can squeeze in before it finishes on Sunday.

A middle aged painter's wife died three months ago and he books a life model to use her as a trigger to paint one last perfect painting of his love before she fades from his memory. When Jade turns up, she's not at all what he was expecting.

I was a bit excited to read that Tahli Corin's script had been workshopped by Edward Albee and can see his influence in the confrontations. It's a terrific script, but is feels a bit over-written and distanced, and I'd like to have felt more rawness to bring us closer to the characters.

None of which makes it any less enjoyable as Syd Brisbane, Hannah Norris and Lori Bell bring the emotional reality and closeness to their characters that's not quite there in the script.

It's a work about our perceptions of beauty in art and women, with opportunities to question our own judgments about both. I also wonder what it would be like if the painter were played by a pin-up perfect man (not that you're not a spunk in your own way, Syd), but it's always curious when a not-so perfect man judges a naked woman.