Director: Matt Bernard
Reviewer: Matt Farnham
In the sequel to last year’s Fringe show, Confessionsof Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl, we catch up with Joanie Little as she embarks on her dream job, working alongside Jane Goodall, the Kardashians of the chimp world and Fetch, a chimp who thinks he’s a dog, in Tanzania.
Rebecca Perry writes and stars as Joanie in this spellbinding one woman show that is so simple and yet effective in evoking emotions from an audience. Perry not satisfied with being a wonderfully versatile actress (she plays at least 11 characters in this show) and writing the play also sings with minimal backing in a different style for each song ranging from Classical to Jazz and even some Folksy rock. The audience can’t help but feel on the side of the gentle and innocent Joanie, which again is a testament to Perry’s skill as an actress, with simple movements and facial expressions that add a depth and warmth to her character.
A particularly interesting and innovative part of the show is how Perry, switches between the characters – with a quick step and the tinkle of a bell she transforms her mannerism, stance, and facial expressions before switching accents, in a show of flexibility that most plays would never allow a performer.
The set and staging for the show are intriguingly simple with just some netting, a campfire and tent to represent the jungle scenery, and yet this is all Perry needs to transfer the audience to the chimpanzee sanctuary in Tanzania. The sound effects are simple but effective as they are used in a small burst to help emphasise the environment that Joanie currently inhabits.
The play as a whole is so simple with a small and simple narrative that ushers the audience through Joanie’s dream job and the choices she has to make in it. The direction is clever and Matt Bernard deserves credit along with Rebecca Perry who is flawless and loveable in the role of Joanie. This show is something different and particularly clever, it contains many laugh out loud moments and while the content of the show is neither ground shattering or nor eye-opening the way in which it is done makes Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl a real treat and well worth your time.
Runs until 29 August 2016 | Image: Contributed