Review by K Bryce.
Entering the newly refreshed Flight Path Theatre in the iconic Addison Road Community Centre, the audience is greeted with a warm welcome from the shows producer, explaining the importance of this show, it’s content and the land on which they perform.
From entering the theatre, the set is playful and fun, almost like entering a live recording of play school, in a good way. With lighting to match, the pastel pallet of this set eases the eye and sets the audience up for a joyful and colourful ride through the world of Taz and The Pleb.
This show addresses the politics around the 2017 plebiscite for the bill to allow same sex marriage in Australia. This lighthearted play addresses this huge issue in an accessible and clever way, creating a non preachy, strong message. Placing this story from the perspective of two queer teenagers also created a unique voice and resonates with an audience. The script itself has some incredible jokes in there with well rounded comedic prose, however at times the audience is told and not shown, although a common theme within a 60 minute show. With some heavy handed dialogue, the script does its job and definitely leaves the audience in a comfortable and satisfied mood.
With being opening night, the regular tech issues occurred, with some dialogue being lost under audio and some lighting malfunctions, but all absolutely forgivable. The use of props and set in this show is clever, utilises the unique stage space at the Flight Path.
The performances make this show, especially those from Lou McInnes and Jack Mainsbridge. These two incredible comedy actors absolutely command all attention when they’re on stage. Lou McInnes as Kathy, Taz’ mum, gives me big Kath Day Energy and the audience were eating it up. Lou simultaneously manages to create great connection and heart from their characters, alongside being incredibly funny, a tough feet for any actor. Jack Mainsbridge, playing a plethora of roles from a quirky neighbourhood watchman, to a noisey, homophobic neighbour, has an incredible comedic ability, with subtle nuisances and total control of character. With some opening night nerves, Mainsbridge still managed to give the audience those little pops of absurdity that made the show so incredible unique.
Natali Caro and Sophie Strykowski as the best friend duo, Taz and Shontelle has a clear and wholesome connection. Strykowski is a strong comedic performer with a well rounded understanding of comic timing, and manages to carry us through the show with ease and safety. Caro as Taz is tough and jaded, but still shows the audience that they’re in control and understand the subtlety of Taz’ journey. Caro did seem perhaps tired or waning towards the end of the show, which I put down to opening night and end of production week, but overall gave a wholesome performance.
This show is fun, witty and absolutely worth a watch.
Image Credit: Noni Carroll