Review By Bella Thompson
Bad dates, bachelorette parties, disappointing sexual encounters. We’ve all experienced them (well, I assume you have; I myself am only permitted to leave the nunnery once a week). Luckily for me, this week’s adventure was to the Flight Path Theatre to hear Katie and Grace share stories of their lives thus far in their Hour of Power.
BFFs (best friends forever!) and comedic duo Katie Lees and Grace Rouvray met ten years ago in a drama class, and if that doesn’t perfectly set up the night you can expect with them I don’t know what would. Spending just over an hour recounting various escapades Katie and Grace invite you to learn from their mistakes – in late night hook ups, surviving weddings, and having twenty-two jobs before turning thirty-five.
Splitting the show into two portions, Katie began, opening up by explaining the excellent advice she’s given to people as the unauthorized and possibly unwanted life-coach she turns into after a few wines. She warns us of ‘the dangerous carousel of lonely hearts’ that is dating apps, and laments on the loss of her potential Dutch husband and what could have been a troupe of their adorably bi-lingual half Dutch children.
Grace brings hers own sparkle to the show – both in her eyes and her outfit, as she dishes out cautionary advice for bridesmaiding – a topic she is an expert on after seven times. Even the bitterness in her voice after recounting yet another forced flower crown laden brunch with a motley band of miscellaneous women from the bride’s life didn’t darken the brightness she brought to the show in juxtaposition of Katie’s more down to earth, unpretentious vibe.
Together, however, is when they really shine, bouncing off of each other with lightning speed and balancing their sometimes dramatic delivery with realistic and entirely relatable stories. The content of each performer’s section was matched well with the other’s, and the overall performance was well combined and created an overall congruent show with their dramatic styles and choices.
I do wish they had interjected more during each other’s set from their vantage position in the front row with a glass of rosé – because we all know that Katie would have had some strong opinions about Melbourne Matt #2 and I for one would like to hear what is sure to be quality commentary.
A step up from a bar gig, there was no set whatsoever and two lighting state changes in the entire show. While the performers comprise the entirety of the night it would no doubt have added to the production if more effort had been made for the technical aspects – if the show gets reprised (and I very much hope it does) hopefully a Lighting Designer can be added to the team.
The audience clearly adored these strong and beautiful, if slightly messy women, and spurred them on with each anecdote; every new ‘hinge-cringe’ date or overinvested maid of honour introduced being met with giggles or groans as everyone imagined their own nightmarish encounters. The very cosy venue made for excellent responses and audible ‘oh-no’s from those who could relate as Katie and Grace took us on what Katie described as ‘a guided tour of the red flag factory.’ You couldn’t have asked for a warmer or more receptive audience, and the familiarity with which the lovely ladies spoke to them with made much of the show feel like a catch up with friends over a couple of drinks as opposed to what could have been endless monologues.
A ten-year history makes for a lot of content, - and the ability to speak in sync for entire sentences – and they certainly deliver. Katie and Grace are an excellent match with different personalities but experiences and stories that wonderfully mesh – in one audience member’s opinion, ‘they’d make a great sit-com.’ A well-written series of individual moments combining to create a picture of their lives. The moments on stage they share – like reading out their lists of nicknames for men they’ve dated – were the highlights of the show.
The entire show was completely relatable and as the night progressed the comedic delivery tightened as the audience loosened. The amount of time they must have had to hold for laughter must have pushed the show to be well over an hour but every minute was definitely worth it to realise how many other people can also understand the rollercoaster that is life in your twenties.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.