By Lali Gill
I’ve always found one person shows to be difficult to pull off, and unfortunately, this one didn’t convince me. The Other Side of 25 attempts to explore the mid twenties experience in a whimsical and comical way, but sadly, doesn’t land. As we were leaving the theatre, my companion for the night mentioned, “that felt like baby-boomer humour in a millenial package.” I agree.
The first thing we see is a handful of silver party balloons strewn on the stage, with the show’s writer and actor, Becca Hurd, centre stage tuning her guitar. This leads into Hurd singing a song about the importance of safe sex - which I of course appreciate - though the delivery just felt dated and the song felt too long. We learn about Becca’s current life situation and childhood through dialogue which to me often felt a little over-performed, with musical breaks every now and then, both sung by Hurd herself or lip-synced.
The plot follows Becca as she agrees to become the surrogate mother for her sister, Meg, who we later find out has passed away in a car accident. We see Becca through two different relationships, two different breakups, and a whole lot of self discovery.
Hurd uses either herself or voiceovers to include other characters in her story, (boyfriends, doctors, her mum) yet I can’t help but wish she had one other actor play all of these roles. When she herself was playing the doctor, for example, her performance was inconsistent and changed slightly with every line. In many parts of this show I found myself wondering why this was a one woman show - I can see it working a lot more smoothly with even just one more performer.
At times Hurd’s comic timing is great, with certain lines or physicality making me laugh and empathise with her. The yoga sequence is especially funny (and relatable).
Though the delivery mostly wasn’t my style, I appreciate Hurd exploring and talking about the female experience as a woman, a sister, a daughter, a partner. I’m glad she told us a story that felt important and true to her. She made a great connection with most of the audience and even though for me many parts felt stale, Hurd was high energy, fun and charismatic.
Photo Credit: Lali Gill
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.