Thursday, December 9, 2021

Two Twenty Somethings Decide


Two Twenty Somethings Decide Never To Be Stressed About Anything Ever Again.  Ever by Michael Costi.  Canberra Youth Theatre at Canberra Theatre Centre, The Courtyard, December 9-14, 2021.

Reviewed by Frank McKone

Boyfriend – Elliot Cleaves
Girlfriend – Martha Russell
New Best Friend – Blue Hyslop

Director – Luke Rogers
Designer – Aislinn King
Lighting Designer – Antony Hateley
Sound Designer – Kimmo Vennonen
Stage Manager – Rhiley Winnett
Assistant Stage Manager – Ashley Pope

The exaggerated title is just about right for this light-hearted absurdist somewhat satirical up-to-date rom com.  The many twenty-somethings near me laughed out loud so much that my hearing aids overloaded.  Even if I had heard every word, I still wouldn’t have understood half the social media references.

The essential message was Never Work in a Chicken Burger Take-away, or you’ll never be able to cross the road again.  Never.  And there was a very serious political point about the treatment of a Syrian refugee Uber driver if you accidentally give him only one star, who cancels you and cancels your account.

The narrow rectangular Courtyard space does not make stage design easy, but Aislinn King, recently selected for the World Stage Design exhibition in Calgary, Canada, next year, has made a see-through set which allows for much more wild action – and occasional moments of reflection – than you might expect.

The three actors have all the skills and timing needed, and a real sense of working with, and off, each other – a great team.

I’m not sure I learned how not to be stressed in today’s world – except that the really important message from this play is that performing for a real audience in real time and space is better than any spurious ‘metaverse’.  And laughing with, not at, each other makes life worth living – and that’s what theatre is all about.