By Charlotte Robertson
Painfully relatable, hilarious and extremely real; this show made me smile so much my cheeks hurt.
The Factory Theatre’s shipping container is ideal for Hour of Power as it is very cosy and intimate. My preconception of Katie Lees and Grace Rouvray’s show was that it would be a comedic recital focusing on topics such as past lovers, terrible jobs, ageing and weddings. The duo definitely delivered on this and so much more with gumption however, what I found most profound in their performance was their beautiful rapport and friendship.
What makes a best friend? Compatibility, definitely, the capacity to forgive weaknesses, for sure, but paramount is the capability to know the person so well you can automatically predict how they will react in certain situations. Lees’ and Rouvray’s interaction and comedic timing is perfect. The pace at which they exchange recounts of doomed love affairs and messy, cringe worthy and embarrassing flings is fast and feels fresh as if it is a first recount. They compliment each other delightfully well, I believe the same material delivered without such fluidity and exuberance could become tiresome sad anecdotes which most of us have experienced but wish to bury deep in the past. It is refreshing to listen to both women boldly and unapologetically tell their stories as they discuss scenarios we’ve all been through (made acutely apparent by the roars of laughter and honest responses in the audience) but some of us haven’t had the nerve to talk about.
A highlight of the show would be when they revealed the nicknames created for their exes inspired by their occupation, geography, genetics or certain interesting interactions they had with them. These included Hot Lawyer, Zombie Guy, Twilight, Mosman Mansplainer, American Dream and The Paramedic, just to name a few. Lees and Rouvray are highly skilled performers as although it was obviously scripted, it always felt like you were having a genuine, casual conversation with both of them and you couldn't help but want to be their mate. When we laugh at Lees and Rouvray we laugh at ourselves. Both of their accounts of recent red flags in relationships had me in stitches as we’ve all been overly idealistic and silenced the inner voice of caution only to be left disappointed. Rouvray cleverly likened this to embodying the girl in your typical horror movie who walks up the ominous stairs which never ends well. The pair radiate confidence and vitality and are unashamedly detailed when it came to their accounts of dating in the digital age of apps like Hinge and Tinder. Lees’ told us about an underwhelming sexual partner who expressed resentment whilst performing oral sex. She said “I’d rather you not do it at all than do it like a cat licking its paws” and with a dissatisfied face she pretended to lick her hand like a cat which was very amusing.
I adored Rouvray’s wedding stories and her belief that Bridesmaids, is indeed, a documentary. As she’s been a bridesmaid seven times and is funnily enough a celebrant, she has quite a collection of humorous stories. She explored Hens weekend dramas, DIY flower crowns, levels of drunkenness, compulsory choreography and brunching with sunglasses.
Amidst the heartache, weddings, unrequited love, drunken silliness, shitty jobs and questionable life choices, they’ve always had their special bond and emphasised that they’d always be willing to have a glass of wine with one another no matter where they end up in the world. Rouvrays lovingly called Lees “my person” which was rather moving, making me think about my best friend of 8 years.
All in all, I had a jolly good time watching these two immensely talented women. A woman in the toilet cubicle next to me after the show said that it was “too relatable” and I couldn’t agree more. I absolutely can’t wait to see their next project together as they really are a dynamic duo!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.