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Review: Whiplash – Scott Wings at Anywhere Theatre Festival

By Tara Ramsay

Walking into the small space at Concept in Fortitude Valley for the Anywhere Festival I had no idea what to expect of Scott Wings' ‘Whiplash’ as I have seen many one woman or one man shows in the past and I know how hard they can be to execute well. In the dimly lit space sat a single black stool and after Scott finished with his front of house duties (he takes this one man show role seriously, literally doing it all, on his own) he introduced himself and his show and pushed the only item that was in his ‘set’ aside.

It was only seconds in when I realised that Scott, a storyteller and master of physical theatre didn’t need a set because he creates a world right in front of us with words, sounds, movements and a little bit of magic. I was completely hooked the minute he sat down at a table for a date that was not there but I could see it, and I was not the only one captivated the audience was still and quiet hanging on every word and move Scott made.

As the story unfolds and the date progresses Scott’s heart is pumping so hard it leaps out of his chest and makes a run for it, leaving his body and mind to spend the date searching both internally and externally for his missing heart. My favourite line of this opening sequence was ‘In darkness my heart packs it’s bags’, one minute we were all laughing and then he speaks those words and again the audience is quiet, still, mesmerised.

The way the date and the body and mind’s search for the heart intertwines is pure genius, and although it weaves in and out going from Scott on a date, to the search for his heart inside his body visiting various areas along the way like the brain, his knee and even a cell, I am never lost.

Throughout the journey that is Whiplash, there is so much audience interaction, making the show that much more enjoyable. Scott has us dancing in our seats to his evolution dance, teaching us the moves as we copy along. Whilst there is usually one audience member who refuses to get involved, not under Scott's masterful engagement - the WHOLE audience joined in, hypnotised!

The physicality of Whiplash is intense and Scott has the sweat to prove it. When 35 year old Scott is meeting the likes of 16 year old Scott and then 18, 21, 25 and 6 year old Scott he races around the floor, creating a space for each of his ages and I see all of them there. Each is so defined that it’s hilarious to see 16 year old Scott excited that his older self has had sex and it’s heartbreaking to see that 31 year old has struggled through tougher times. Even so, 40 year old Scott is hopeful. When we enter the control panel of Scott’s brain as he is thinking of what to say on the date, the execution and sounds and the crazy little man moving around all of the gadgets was hysterical, his energy is through the roof by this stage and it’s infectious.

There is poetry, physical theatre and comedy but most of all ‘Whiplash’ has a purpose. There was a consistent balance of emotions throughout ‘Whiplash’ and through all of this it weaved back to the date and back to searching for his heart and besides love, one theme that seemed to ebb throughout Scott’s performance was hope, hope that men would do better and that we could be better and that he could be better.

Intimate, laugh out loud funny, heartbreaking, relevant and hopeful are just a few of the words I would use to describe Scott Wings new show ‘Whiplash’ but words cannot do this show justice, so do yourself a favour and see how Scott’s date ends and if he ever finds his heart.

Whiplash is on until the 26th Of May at Concept in Fortitude Valley, check out the Anywhere festival for more information.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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