18
Feb
14

Solpadeine is My Boyfriend WTF14

 

WTF 2014 Brisbane Powerhouse

 

February 13 – 23 2014

 

Solpadeine is My Boyfriend (Ireland)

By Stephanie Preissner

Brisbane Powerhouse (Supported by Culture Ireland)

Visy Theatre

February 12 – 16 2014

 

Reviewed by Guy Frawley

 

Presented as one long lyrical poem, Stefanie Preissner’s Solpadeine is My Boyfriend, is a contemporary story of 20-something angst set against the backdrop of a Ireland’s failing economy and the mass emigration of Preissner’s generation to ‘luckier’ countries.

 

Solpadeine is My Boyfriend

 

Solpadeine is My Boyfriend has a brilliantly well written script that uses the rhyme and rhythm of Stephanie Preissner’s lyrical poem to great effect. We’re introduced to our protagonist as she sets forth from her provincial home in southern Ireland for the promise of a better life in the capital. This move isn’t the cause, but it does mark the beginning of Preissner’s own iliad of woes. I doubt if crafting, writing and staging such a personal piece of theatre could ever be a simple task, but throughout the entire show Preissner performs with with an effortless intimacy with her audience. The themes are heavy and this show could easily have been an hour long slog through a morass of substance addiction and self loathing,  but by the very grace of Preissner’s heartfelt presentation Solpadeine is My Boyfriend more often sparkles with humour and pathos than it does plumb the darkest depths.

 

The angst ridden musings of another Gen Y may seem cliche (Can’t I just stay home and binge on some episodes of Girls?) and yes, tales of youthful angst often lapse into dragging up the same worn out tropes and stereotypes. But in Solpadeine is My Boyfriend the prose is, refreshingly, self aware and avoids rehashing the same old schtick. She’s conscious of the fact that more of her needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy are being met than many others around the world but this doesn’t lessen the sting of her sense of betrayal when confronted with a changing world. Raised on the economic back of the Celtic Tiger, Preissner’s post-2008 rude awakening mirrors the experience of millions of 20-somethings globally who were to find the promises of their youth turn to dust as they inherited the woes of their parents generations economic mismanagement.

 

Solpadeine is My Boyfriend is a personal and charismatic tale of one woman’s experience coming of age in a time of disappointment and failed promises. It’s not just a story of a generation abandoned by their country but a battle cry for those who are left behind, when those who can flee do.

 

 

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