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Review: Chasing Yesterday at Long Play, North Fitzroy

By Flora Norton

If you were given the opportunity to change one thing in your life, how would you use it? Would you use it to save a friend’s life? Or a pets’? Would you use it to save yourself from financial ruin… or from a loveless marriage? Perhaps you would use it to take back something that has caused you perpetual and inescapable guilt? Would you give the power to somebody else perhaps, who needs it more than you? Or would you choose not to use it at all, content with your past and the person that your decisions have made you today? All of these possibilities are explored in ‘Chasing Yesterday’ which is currently playing in North Fitzroy at the Long Play venue.

Chasing Yesterday is a clever, witty and thought-provoking contemplation on the struggles we face in life and their significance, questioning whether we would change our past if we could, and indeed, whether we should.

The play follows the decisions of various characters who are faced with a tough decision when given a single opportunity to take back one decision or mistake that they’ve made in their lives. Through her thoughtful and moving script, Becki Bouchier explores the possibilities that such an opportunity would present, and the changes, trivial, frivolous and sentimental, that we may be temped to make.

The three-woman cast is phenomenal and Rahi, Brown and Spillane should be commended on their dynamic, entertaining and compelling performances. Bouchier combines the relatable with the absurd, adding both comedy and tragedy to the play without once detracting from the themes at its core.

Performed in a small theatre on a tiny stage, the set of Chasing Yesterday is contained and simple, comprising of a sofa, some shelves, and a table. Cosy yet adaptable, the set is warm and comforting and invites the audience to relax as they watch the play unfold. Through fantastic direction, Bouchier has the cast make subtle and almost unnoticeable changes to the set throughout the play which allow for a dynamic yet also seamless performance.

Eugenia Rahi’s performance is fantastic and the skill with which she alternates between characters is mesmerising. The dry humour, fiery wit and endearing naivety of her characters not only add comic relief to the play but allow the audience to sympathise with her and this facilitates some of the more moving scenes in the play. When a separated, childless and lonely woman reconnects with a friend from school whose happy family has been thrown into financial strife, Sally Brown’s character makes the bold decision to bestow her power onto her friend. This moment in the play is powerfully moving and a hushed silence fills the theatre, a tension that can only be attributed to Rahi and Brown’s outstanding talent. The silence is broken only by a single woman exclaiming tearily from the back row, “oh my god she didn’t!”

Chasing Yesterday is as funny as it is moving and will certainly encourage you to consider your life, your past and the mistakes you may have made. An absolutely outstanding addition to the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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