Anywhere Festival & Ease Productions
8 – 16 May 2016
Reviewed by Jackson Kellaway
I will admit I was skeptical to see this show. Having read the small blurb found on the website I was honestly walking into this show without an ounce of knowledge as to what to expect. Particularly because of the venue, The Paddington Substation, I was intrigued. Little did I know that the Substation is actually home to the Room To Play Independent Theatre. It provides an area for any creatives to go and make use of the space. During Anywhere Festival it was home to Ease Productions and their performance of Tragedy, a show written, directed and performed by Elizabeth (Libby) Scales.
Once I arrived at the venue I got to explore and have a drink before the show began and listen to the musician, Amy Scales, set the mood. Creative blood must run in the family as she is sister to Libby. Fortunately I was able to have a quick chat to Libby beforehand and find out more about the future of the show because tonight was the final showing…for now.
Soon the lights dimmed and we were seated. (I was smart enough to sit next to the reserved seat which meant later in the show I was the shoulder for Libby to lean on). Out comes Artemis an ancient Greek God who wasn’t important enough to be sitting in on the meeting of the Gods that was happening at that very moment. She was instead sent to give an important lesson to the humans of Brisbathania.
We were told that the Gods were angry and furious and angry and furious and angry and furious (one of the many lines in the show that were repeated over and over for comedic effect – almost tipping over into the annoying category) and they felt useless because of the modern day humans lack of praise to them. They are feeling irrelevant and are deciding on a “restructure”.
In terms of staging, The Room to Play Theatre has a small raised platform which means the audience are extremely “involved” in the show. Meaning, the fourth wall is often broken and who else are you going to talk to during an hour long one-woman show? Libby did a great job of interacting with the projection on the back wall, whether it be to her subservient servants (who eventually disobey her and walk off), her best friend (who clearly needs to understand that fake disconnection doesn’t work on Skype) and two small clips – one at the beginning and one at the end – that show Libby running around frantically in public because she can’t find her phone and the latter because she got decaf. These introduced the audience to the theme of the show and brought light to the generation currently roaming the earth.
During the show Libby has a little sing along with Dolly of Partonia; she sings a parody of Jolene and later gives us some sampling of her dance moves whilst Tina Turner plays on the projection Simply the Best. This is playing during her metamorphosis into a God that is learning to live in this world. She has to do this after discovering she has been made redundant, losing her place in the fluffy clouds.
This show probably isn’t one I would normally attend but I am glad I came along to it. It was a great experience and I was definitely learning tips for when, if ever, I want to do my own one man show….