Performed &devised by: Stuart Barter, Clare Dunn &Terry O’Donovan
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
In an age of ‘deferred success’ when competitive completion is frowned upon as everyone needs to be seen as a winner, how do we measure our achievements? Through driving tests, swimming certificates, or our work achievements? Or are our achievements and failures a more integral part of our being.
This work in progress showing, en-route to its finished showing at the Ovalhouse this Autumn, is part training session, part party games and part motivational lecture.
Gone is any traditional auditorium seating configuration, instead the audience is sat on classroom-style seating as our three hosts invite us to the training session. We’re warned we may need to move, clap or even sing and, true to their word, there’s soon a synchronised sea of moving chairs, audience participation and, by the end, even communal singing.
Part of the impact of this show is the element of unexpected but, suffice to say, the trio mix drama, dance, comedy and personal reflection with audience participation. It’s a subtle level of audience participation, however, and one that never feels awkward or forced – how can it be when the cast offer round popcorn or play a game of pass the parcel?
Despite the party games there is a darker edge to the piece as we look at how one traumatic event can negate even the hardest won achievements. O’Donovan, Dunn and Barter work well together as the action flows through the audience, using each other and the audience to drive the narrative.
There’s perhaps some further work needed to fully integrate the movement into the piece, and the current ending, while fun, seems somewhat unsatisfactory but this is a clever, well executed and, above all, fun look at our ingrained need for recognition