20 January 2015

Review: Softly Pouting ...

Softly pouting while walking into breezes
MUST, La Mama
14 January 2015
La Mama
to 1 February
Photo by Sarah Walker

Softly pouting while walking into breezes started as a MUST (Monash Uni Student Theatre) show that was so popular that it needed to be seen by more people and found its way to La Mama for Midsumma.

With vignettes of memories, it's story of first-love-gone-bad-before-it-ever-had-the-chance-to-be-good. Ben, who is played by all eight male and female cast members, is lonely and embarrassed and afraid that he blew his one chance (in the bad way).

Playwright Jake Stewart is off to VCA this year and is a writer to keep an eye on. With a conscious wit, he captures the intense over-sharing and over-analysing passion of young adulthood. It reminded me of the endless times I fell in love at uni; every one was real, those who still make me smile and those whose names are lost. He's still to discover the real joy of cutting his darling words, but the over-writing and over-referencing feels right with the over-thinking of the Bens about the boy he loves.

He also has another show on at Midumma: Sexy Dead Schoolboys.

The cast grab the script with all their hearts, which have each known the tingly exhilaration and sweaty humiliation of love. They all bring themselves to their Ben, which makes it feel like there is a part of everyone's story on the stage. Awkward love is for all, after all.

Director Jessica McLaughlin Cafferty ensures that all the Bens have their moment and never lets any Ben overshadow the rest. She and the design team take advantage of the intimacy of the tiny La Mama space, while never letting the it be too small for a song and dance or too big to lose a moment of closeness.

As the best selfies come from softly pouting while walking into breezes, this is a love story from the generation who grew up with smart phones, social media and over sharing – and they show that it feels no different from us who wrote notes in class and left messages on answering machines.

This was on AussieTheatre.com

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