Throwing surrealism to the wolves
By Myron My
A woman has gone missing and her friends are left to go on with their lives, not knowing what has happened to her. Despite attempts of normalcy and moving on, the wolves are always at their door waiting for the right moment to strike.
My latest venture into this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival was It’s Happening In The Space Between My Face and Yours. Written by Izzy Roberts-Orr, it’s a surreal look at love, sex and death through the eyes of a bunch of twenty-somethings sharing a house together. There is strong direction by Nick Fry, and the cast have done well in creating a sense of unity in their movements on stage.
The sound and lighting design by James Hogan and Nick Fry respectively are a highlight of the show and create an atmosphere of foreshadowing and something more sinister at play but this is not complemented by the acting or the script. The biggest issue I had with It’s Happening… is that I don’t know what it wants to be. Is it a romantic comedy for hipsters or a supernatural suspense? Either way, the two do not mesh with success here. Whenever surrealism is attempted in theatre, it either works incredibly well or not at all and in this situation, it does fall into the latter. There were also storylines that occurred very awkwardly like the introduction of a new housemate who rents out Jack’s room and the romance between El and Ali (Elle Kulesza and Rebecca Hunt).
I was captivated by Tom Molyneux and Meaghan Lawrie as the two ‘wolves’, almost to the point where I was watching them even when they weren’t actively participating in a scene. However, I was not convinced by the rest of the cast in their roles and their emotional scenes did not feel real to me. More development was required for all the characters, especially Jack (Jennifer Speirs) who needed more of a presence if she is to be the central character and theme in the play.
Melbourne Fringe Festival is about trying new things and doing something different: seeing what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately the debut performance of It’s Happening In The Space Between My Face and Yours doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Venue: Sketch and Tulip, 364 Victoria St, North Melbourne
Season: Until 02 October | Tues – Sun 9:15pm
Tickets: $19 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au or 9660 9666