Tag: friendship

REVIEW: Yve Blake in AM I GOOD FRIEND?

A truly delightful performer and a wonderful show

By Bradley Storer

Am I Good Friend? is a show which mines, with hilarious results, the gap between our perception and the reality of how we relate to other people. Compiling graphs, pie charts of ambiguous flavour and anecdotal evidence on how to be a good friend, performer Yve Blake embarks on a pseudo-scientific and fantastical quest for what she calls the ‘golden egg of truth’.

Yve Blake

Greeted at the entrance of The Butterfly Club by Blake’s ‘stage manager’, who hands out iced Vovos whilst dressed in a stylish garbage-bag garment, we are handed small cards and invited to answer a personal question or two to aid Blake’s ‘research’. One quick costume change later and Blake herself appears in a make-shift lab coat and begins to ingratiate herself with the audience.

Over the next hour we are taken on a journey through Blake’s history of spotty behaviour as a friend, relayed through multimedia presentations, lip-synched re-enactments of embarrassing conversations and Skype-d testimonials from her closest friends. Given Blake’s sunny and adorable stage presence, this is actually almost too hard to believe!

Blake is a hurricane of delightful comic energy, bouncing off the walls with bright eyes and a wide sincere smile. Along with her goofy and enthusiastic nature, she is also unafraid to shamelessly plug her awkwardness and short-comings for laughs – her comedic commitment to her own humiliation is hysterically funny. Although her approach to her material is high-octane the show never seems rushed or garbled, her remarkable diction worthy of note considering the speed at which she speaks! Blake has a fantastic gift for interacting with and including her audience, finding many clever (and at one point, truly touching) ways to bring audience members into the show.

The hour-long show flies past, and the conclusion is a communal acknowledgement of all our faults and mistakes as friends to others, Blake ultimately managing to find both pathos and humour in the universal experience of loneliness and being an outsider. Ultimately this is an outstanding show which, much like Blake herself, hides a surprising depth beneath its sunny exterior.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC

Date: Tues 18th to Sunday 23rd Dec

Time: Tues, Weds and Sun at 8pm – Thurs, Fri, Sat at 9pm

Tickets: $23 / $20 Conc / $18 Group (8+) / $15 Tues

Online: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Phone: 9690 2000

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Review: NOA at La Mama

Interesting possibilities end up all at sea

By Myron My

I love it when there is something unique or different about a performance and when we were asked which way we would like to enter the stage, I thought that NOA would be one of those experiences. We could enter the conventional way or go up some stairs, down a ladder and be led to our seats in the dark.

There was much anticipation about what was about to transpire as everyone got seated and the performance began. Unfortunately, for the next 45 minutes I sat there often confused, sometimes uninterested and ultimately left wondering about too many things.

NOA

NOA attempted to look at themes of loss, friendship and survival, yet I struggled to find any definitive moments where any of these were explored. Excluding the last few minutes of the show, we were witness to two siblings (Karen Sibbing and Joshua Ferenbach) playing different characters in short skit-like scenes, including Mike the Magician and his “amazing” 3 cans/2 coins trick but nothing particular came from any of this.

The flimsy plot revolves around Noa and his sister – who live inside a bunker built by Noa and are honing their survival skills for their own experiences. The character development was minimal at best and just when I thought we were going to get some idea as to why these characters were doing what they were doing it went back to the surreal character dress-ups. However I must say the commitment which the performers played their troubled characters was a highlight of NOA.

Eugyeene Teh’s set design was the other highlight. Much time and effort had gone into replicating a bunker and encapsulating its claustrophobic and tight environment. Lighting designer Amelia Lever-Davidson further amplified this sensation with her atmospheric changes from darkness through dullness to dazzling brightness.

Overall and unfortunately, NOA felt contrived and had a level of pretentiousness to it that prevented me from connecting with the piece. I appreciate that theatre should investigate unknown areas and be innovative and explorative but unlike Noah’s Ark, this ship sank very quickly for me.

Venue: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street St, Carlton

Season: Until 21 December | Tues, Wed, Sun 6:30pm. Thu-Sat 7:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $15 Concession

Bookings: http://lamama.com.au