By Worcester University
Tonight at Sweet Werks two graduates of the University of Worcester’s integrated masters in touring theatre present short individual shows before an appreciative crowd.
The first half is taken up by Pop My Cherry, created by Celeste Ondeasz.
Declaring she is a twenty two year old virgin, Ondeasz takes the audience on a journey of what it might take to lose her virginity, while she reluctantly accepts the advice from her passive aggressive mother and examines a series of relationships and encounters that have left her (in her words) “hymen unbroken”.
A white balloon represents the performer’s virginity. Will it get popped by the time the show ends? Red balloons, with faces drawn on them, hang from the ceiling. Each balloon represents a person she could have lost her cherry to, or has a story about; the balloon is then popped after she has told the story about them. This creates a nice focus to the show.
As the night continues we learn about Ondeasz’s relationship with her sexuality and body image, which she compares with her contemporaries. She’s not as confident, in fact she’s scared of her vibrator. “Why are her friends so far ahead?” She ponders.
This is a strong comedy performance populated with a handful of well performed, stripped back, original songs, in a Lilly Allen style. Ondeasz is a fabulous clown and endearing actor, she explores this rights of passage tale with great charm and humour, with the crowd often laughing at her insights and leaving them with a smile on their faces at the end of the piece.
Part two is called Pocket Sized Revolution and is devised and performed by Tisa Klicek.
Lucy has just ran over somebody, and as she sits in the hospital waiting room to find out what has happened to the injured man she contemplates her fate, her life and her future.
Klicek is a wonderful comedic performer, both odd and engaging in a very good way. After several minutes of silent performance, shifting from chair to chair in the waiting room and playing with her handbag she blurts out “I’ve just killed someone”. It’s a very funny start to the performance.
From there a charming monologue unfolds, with some nice chiding of the crowd, where Lucy explores, firstly, what would have happened if she had married John (the man she has injured) instead of running him over? Then she explores wider issues about why she works on the treadmill of life, getting tired and depressed. Is it this that lead to the crash? And, if it is, is she or society to blame?
Some lovely moments of physicality include a dance with a coat rack, which is hilarious, and the attempt to eat chocolate without being noticed, which is reminiscent of and just as funny as a Mr Bean skit.
As the piece goes on Lucy realises she does want to “play the game” any more. She wants to live and thrive, not just survive and to throw off the stress and start a revolution.
Klicek is a unique clown. This is a very accomplished piece of work, funny throughout and enthralling to watch.
Both women have produced perfectly structured and extremely funny pieces; they are a shining advertisement for their MA course at the University of Worcester, and hopefully well on the way to becoming professional theatre practitioners. Look out for their distinctive names cropping up here and there, they are delightful performers; ones to watch.
Reviewed on 15th June