Review by Katrina Chan
Deep and Meaningful follows a sad and lonely woman who invited random strangers to her house party on the night before the world ends, as the earth will soon be enveloped by a black hole.
At the beginning of the show, the audience was left questioning whether this would be a 55 minute long Alayne Dick stand up comedy set or a play. We only came to the realisation that we were the guests of her party after she started asking for people’s names in the audience. We quickly got a sense of her awkward personality and thought process through her poetic monologues - i.e. “Everything is terrified. It’s an old joke, and so am I…”
The use of projectors, a simple set, props and colourful light design created the atmosphere of her house. Her robotic gesture in playing beer pong, blowing party whistles and throwing balloons by herself was especially tragic while she spit out her frustration in coping with the last day of life.
The Black Hole, a self invited guest character was introduced to us through projector footage, echoing voice recordings and subtitles. Light design and music motives were effective for the audience to have a clear idea of who she was talking to - herself, the audience or the Black Hole. It would be better if the lights were more on cue so that there could be more light on her to allow the audience to see her acting when she was off stage.
Her interactions with the audience were fun, spontaneous, clever and effortless. Before the show, a question was posed to the audience: “what is one thing you wish to do before the world ends”. She invited the audience to shine their phone torch when she read out their answers which brought much laughter. The use of the disco ball to shine the room was visually appealing when she talked about stars and wishes, providing a sense of hope.
She conveyed her story with good pauses and pacing, and subtle emotional shifts through her voice. Her acting was down to earth, intimate, personal and vulnerable, which helped to keep the audience engaged in her narrative journey and be curious about how the story is going to move forward.
Her comedic writing was full of metaphors, absurdity and wit. For example, “Life is just a party. Party is not supposed to last.” She kept the audience engaged with subject matter that was relevant for the millennial generation e.g. Neopets, Fight Club, and many more. She brought up the idea of having no ability to control life despite all resources and information available to mankind in 2022. She mocked useless life advice and tips on how to deal with panic attack, and yet, her acting showed that she was desperately asking for help.
She had a way of making the audience relate. You might feel sorry for her, but you might have also been there. Instead of educating the audience, her dry humour resonated with people and made the audience reflect and ask questions in the hopes of coming out with new insights.
In conclusion, it was an enjoyable 55 minute play that told a subtle yet powerful story through self-talk and introspection. It'll make you wonder where life leads her, and you will surely look forward to her next party (if the world hasn’t ended yet)